OCEANSIDE – To reduce marine and plastic litter, Oceanside City Council has directed its employees to develop a policy that will phase out the use of single-use plastic products within the next six months.
Rather than simply passing a resolution supporting the reduction of marine litter and litter from single-use polystyrene and other plastic products, the council decided to go one step further and urged staff to issue a regulation that would reduce the amount Single-use products would limit the use of plastics that are distributed to consumers in the city.
Back in March, the council approved the city’s Zero Waste Plan 2020 and instructed employees to draft a resolution to reduce marine litter for consideration by the council in order to reduce marine litter and litter in the community and to improve the cleanliness of the city and to protect the environment .
The resolution calls on companies to phase out the use of polystyrene, a difficult-to-recycle plastic commonly used to make foam to-go packaging, plates, mugs and other single-use items. Styrofoam materials are generally not included in the city’s recycling program.
Staff estimated that the cost of implementing waste prevention and marine litter reduction programs that would include public relations and technical assistance would cost about $ 10,000 from city solid waste and recycling funds.
Then, on August 4th, when the resolution was finally presented to the council, nearly two dozen people came out in favor of not only approving the resolution but also promoting real policies that would help reduce plastic waste.
Several nearby cities such as Vista, Encinitas, Solana Beach, San Diego, and Imperial Beach have already passed Styrofoam bans.
Most of these cities also have ordinances requiring customers to request single-use plastic items such as utensils and forks instead of being automatically given to them. Both Karlovy Vary and San Marcos are currently considering such a regulation.
Resident Diane Nygaard encouraged the council to “skip this stuff” in the resolution and to pass a “real ordinance” requiring companies to only offer single-use plastics on request.
“It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” said Nygaard. “It’s a small step for Oceanside, but a giant step in reducing plastic waste in our waters.”
After hearing more than 20 other people advocating the same thing, Deputy Mayor Ryan Keim moved to pass the resolution and instruct staff to issue a “Skip the Stuff” ordinance within the next six months.
Growing up surfing, Keim doesn’t need to be convinced that plastic waste and trash is a big problem.
“You travel across the country or around the world to these remote places and find plastic bottles a foot deep,” said Keim. “If we can start in our own backyard that would be great.”