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Carlsbad Plastic Foodware Reduction Ordinance

On Tuesday, April 19, the Carlsbad City Council passed a comprehensive ordinance aimed at reducing single-use pollution from restaurants and food service vendors. It is the first in a series of plastic pollution reduction ordinances to be considered by the City of Carlsbad in Spring 2022.

At the time of its passage, Carlsbad's plastic foodware ordinance is the strongest of its type in San Diego County. It includes the following amendments: 

  • A ban on single-use plastic foodware and polystyrene, effective July 2023. Only reusable or compostable (i.e., accepted for collection in the city’s organic materials collection program) will be allowed. 
  •  “Skip the Stuff” — based on California AB-1276, requiring that restaurants and food delivery services provide single-use straws, condiments, utensils, etc. only upon request. The implementation date for Carlsbad is June 2022, which is in alignment with the State law.  

Surfrider San Diego applauds Carlsbad city staff for their attention to detail when drafting the ordinance, and is grateful to the City Council for unanimously voting to introduce the ordinance at its first reading on April 5, 2022. In the coming months, Carlsbad will consider additional restrictions on intentional balloon releases, single-use plastic bottles, and plastic bags. As we did during the drafting and passage of this foodware ordinance, Surfrider activists will act as a voice for our ocean, beaches and planet to ensure these additional ordinances become law in Carlsbad. 


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Plastic Pollution

Our chapter has multiple committees dedicated to the Surfrider Plastic Pollution Initiative. These include a countywide Beach Cleanup program, the Rise Above Plastics (RAP) committee, the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program, and a campaign to end cigarette butt litter - Ban the Butt.

End Plastic Pollution