The city of Encinitas introduced the first of three plastic waste reduction measures to bring the city closer to being a single-use, plastic-free community on Dec. 18. File photo
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Encinitas adds plastic waste controls

ENCINITAS — Dec. 18, the city of Encinitas introduced the first of three plastic waste reduction measures to bring the city closer to being a single-use, plastic-free community. In a unanimous vote, the City Council moved to expand its current polystyrene ban, adopted in November 2016, to include additional restrictions on the use and distribution of single-use plastic straws and utensils.

“The crisis of plastic pollution is an issue that must be addressed by our policymakers,” said Alexandra Ferron, volunteer policy coordinator and executive committee member with the Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter. “As one of the first cities in San Diego County to pass a plastic bag and a polystyrene ban, Encinitas has an incredible record in addressing this crisis and paving the way for the rest of San Diego County to follow. We are thrilled that the City Council decided to carry on that legacy last night.”

The first phase of Encinitas’ ordinance, effective Feb. 22, 2020, requires the distribution of beverage straws and plastic utensils only upon request by a customer or upon offer by a food provider, including fast food and takeout. A complete prohibition of the distribution of plastic beverage straws by a food provider will take effect Aug. 1, 2020. The ordinance also prohibits the distribution of plastic utensils and straws at city Facilities, city-managed concessions, city-sponsored or co-sponsored events, city permitted special events on city property and all franchisees, contractors, and vendors doing business with the city. The adoption of the new ordinance is expected to take place on Jan. 22, 2020.

The second and third phases of the expansion of the current polystyrene ban, expected to be introduced and adopted in 2020, will include the prohibition of plastic beverage containers at city facilities & events and the prohibition of retail sale of expanded polystyrene, plastic straws and plastic utensils.

For additional information, visit http://surfridersd.org/ or contact Alexandra Ferron.

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