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San Marcos Considers Ordinance to Combat Single-Use Plastic Pollution!

The San Marcos City Council will consider a plastic pollution reduction ordinance on Tuesday, Oct 12. Help us ensure its passage!

An EPS foam fragment found at a recent cleanup in San Marcos

How You Can Help

attend the ciy council meeting

The best way to help is to show up! If you can, attend the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct 12 at 6pm and make a public comment in support of the ordinance. Simply fill out a "request to speak" form when you arrive; they are located at the rear of the council chambers. Remember to write Item TMP-1605 on the form so they know when to call you.

Public comments are limited to 5 minutes, but we encourage planning a  2-3 minute comment. City councils do commonly shorten speaker times if/when a large number of people intend to speak on the same item.

All San Diego County residents are welcomed and encouraged to attend, especially those who live in San Marcos and neighboring communities.

submit a written comment via email

EMAIL THE COUNCIL (use our template)

EMAIL THE COUNCIL (write your own)

If you're unable to attend in person, please submit a written comment to the entire council in support of the ordinance. Remember to send by 4pm on Tuesday, October 12. Feel free to use our template (or customize it), or craft your own statement as to why the City should address plastic pollution. If, for any reason, the buttons above don't work, your email should be sent to

Plastic pollution originating from restaurant takeout in San Marcos

WHO: San Marcos City Council 

WHAT: First Reading of a Citywide Plastic Pollution Reduction Ordinance 

WHEN: October 12 from 6pm-9pm

WHERE: San Marcos City Hall, 1 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos, CA 92069

WHY: For Our Ocean, Beaches and Planet! 

Review the Ordinance

The entire draft ordinance is posted below, but here is a summary of the 3 main areas in which it will reduce plastic pollution in San Marcos:

  • Prohibits distribution of most single-use plastic food ware accessories – straws, utensils, condiments, etc. – and also requires that any "plastic alternative" disposable accessories be given out only upon customer request. Goes into effect July 1, 2022.

  • Requires all disposable food service ware - takeout boxes, cups, clamshells,  etc. - to be either recyclable or compostable, as determined by the City's waste hauler. Goes into effect July 1, 2023.

  • Prohibits the use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) food ware at all food establishments. Goes into effect July 1, 2024

It Takes a Community

With support from Councilmember Randy Walton, Universidad Popular and several other local community groups, we hosted a large citywide cleanup in San Marcos on September 4, 2021. In only 2 hours, 200 volunteers collected over 950 lbs of trash from pollution hotspots all over the city. The vast majority consisted of single-use plastics. 

San Marcos is in a coastal watershed. When it rains, plastic pollution makes it way to our beaches and ocean via rivers, creeks and  stormdrains. This is one reason why addressing plastic pollution upstream is just as important as addressing it in coastal cities.

One of many amazing youth volunteers who helped out at the San Marcos community cleanup