Surfrider Says ‘Support the San Diego Single Use Plastics Ordinance’

by on October 26, 2022 · 1 comment

in Environment, Ocean Beach, San Diego

From San Diego Surfrider:

The foam ban is back! This Thursday, October 27, at 1pm, the San Diego Environment Committee will consider reintroducing the Single Use Plastic Reduction Ordinance before the full City Council for a vote.

The ordinance, which prohibits throwaway foam foodware citywide, was originally approved by the City Council back in January 2019. However, the City agreed to stay the ordinance and conduct an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to avoid a costly, plastics industry-funded lawsuit. Get the full story HERE.

Now that the Final EIR is out and concludes that the benefits far outweigh any potential negatives, the ordinance must by approved by the Environment Committee before heading to the full City Council for re-adoption.

Please let the Environment Committee know that you support reintroduction of the Single Use Plastic Reduction Ordinance!

* Tips for the webform: meeting date is 10/27/22 for Agenda Item 4: Single Use Plastic Reduction Ordinance: Final Environmental Impact Report and Ordinance Recommendations.  Here is an image of what your form should look like.

** Webform comments are limited to 200 words. If you’d like to send a longer letter or include attachments, etc., you can email


A simple comment à la “please recommend the Single-Use Plastic Reduction Ordinance for a full City Council vote as soon as possible, thank you” would be fantastic.

Any personal experiences with seeing foam pollution would also be great.

Here are some additional talking points to consider for your comment form:

    • Polystyrene foam is the #2 most commonly found item at Surfrider beach cleanups in San Diego.
    • Surfrider volunteers removed 53,327 pieces of foam debris in 2018 and 2019, a number that accounts for only a tiny fraction of the total amount of foam debris that ends up on our beaches and in our ocean each year in San Diego.
    • in 2019, polystyrene foam accounted for 14.4% of the total items found at over 100 local Surfrider beach cleanups
    • Because it is so lightweight and brittle, foam foodware easily breaks down into tens, hundreds, even thousands of smaller pieces. It is almost impossible to identify, separate, and remove EPS foam debris from beach sand once this happens.
    • Like all plastics, polystyrene foam is made from oil and toxic chemicals and does not biodegrade in the natural environment. Each piece of foam debris in our environment is akin to a mini oil spill.
    • Foam is effectively non-recyclable due to frequent contamination, breakdown, and negative value to recyclers. The City already spent taxpayer money in a failed attempt to accept foam foodware in recycling bins and send it to a recycler in Los Angeles.
    • The Final EIR did note potential GHG emission increases associated with banning polystyrene foam foodware, but also makes clear that statewide and regional GHG reduction efforts would make these increases short-term, temporary, and very minor at worst.
    • Implementation of this ordinance is a specific “suggested action” in the City’s Climate Action Plan (measure 4.1 of Strategy 4), which the City Council unanimously adopted on August 2.
    • We cannot allow the stalling tactics of the plastics industry to continue, please approve this ordinance and send it to City Council!


The Environment Committee meeting will be held this Thursday, Oct 27, at 1pm in the City Council chambers. The full agenda, which includes instructions on how to make in-person OR virtual public comment via ZOOM, can be accessed HERE.

If you’d like to attend either in person or virtually and need some advice or have questions, please reply to this email! The link to join the Meeting Webinar by computer, tablet, or Smartphone is here :

To join by telephone:
Dial 1-669-254 5252

When prompted, input Webinar ID: 160 532 0355#

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

tennyson October 29, 2022 at 10:05 am

I shamefully admit I use Door Dash far too often. I always specify “no plastic flatware” but continue to receive it with my order from most of the restaurant participants. I sent a large box stuffed with unused plastic flatware to DD corporate headquarters in SF. No response but made me feel better.


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