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Oceanside’s Foam Ban Goes Into Effect!

It’s Time to Celebrate!

After a multi-year campaign led by Surfrider volunteers who worked alongside local community groups, concerned residents, and students of all ages, the Oceanside City Council unanimously adopted the Marine Debris Reduction Ordinance in August 2023. 

Phase One

The first phase of the ordinance is a ban of polystyrene foam (StyrofoamTM) for both restaurants and retail; it went into effect on July 1st. To prepare the business community, City staff members, along with Main Street Oceanside and the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, have been holding workshops and distributing information, including a business education notice and poster.

Phase Two

Beginning on January 1, 2025, flimsy single-use plastic carryout bags will no longer be used by retailers and food service providers. Modeled after the California bag law, customers will be encouraged to bring their own bags when shopping or dining out or they will be charged at least ten cents for a “reusable” plastic or a paper bag. 

Questions, Concerns. Enforcement 

If you have questions about the ordinance or have concerns about a business that is not following the guidelines, please contact Oceanside Customer Care (contact info below). 

Enforcement for the ordinance will be mainly complaint-based, therefore we encourage residents to report non-compliant businesses to the City rather than addressing employees directly. The City is taking an education-first approach during the rollout phase, meaning that businesses will only receive a fine or other punitive measures after several warnings have been given. 

If you do want to address a business directly as well, we suggest asking for a manager or the owner. 

Morning After Mess Beach Cleanup

To raise awareness about the ordinance, the Rise Above Plastics (RAP) team is hosting the Morning After Mess beach cleanup on July 5th at Breakwater Beach in Oceanside. RAP volunteers will be present to provide information about the ordinance and to encourage everyone to contribute to its success. 


(Morning After Mess cleanup in Oceanside on July 5, 2023)

Help Educate Local Businesses!

Additionally, the Ocean Friendly Restaurants (OFR) team will be hosting a social and blitz in Oceanside on Sunday, July 14th at 2:00pm. After a brief overview and training, volunteers will partner up to visit restaurants, share information about the OFR program, and inform businesses about the ordinance.

  • OFR Restaurant Blitz: July 14th at 2:00pm - 4:00pm in Oceanside 
  • Register: Restaurant Blitz Event (Exact location will be provided upon registration)

Thank You for Your Support!

We are grateful to everyone who helped get Oceanside’s plastic ordinance passed by donating, participating in events, writing letters, attending meetings, speaking in support, or sending positive vibes!! San Diego Chapter supporters, like you, helped make the foam ban in Oceanside a reality. Let’s continue working together to ensure future generations can enjoy plastic pollution-free communities and beaches.

For a full history of the Oceanside campaign, please read, Finally, a plastic ordinance in Oceanside. 

Additional Information

Ordinance details and resources are available on Oceanside’s Marine Debris Reduction Ordinance webpage.


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