Ban on Styrofoam, single-use plastics takes effect in San Diego

Posted at 3:26 PM, Feb 24, 2019

SAN DIEGO — The use of Styrofoam and single-use plastics in the city of San Diego will no longer be allowed beginning Saturday.

In January, the City Council voted in favor of banning the use of the products within city limits. The ban goes into effect on Feb. 23, according to the city.

However, the city is rolling out the ordinance in phases to “allow businesses and other entities time to implement changes with the overall goal of reducing the use of polystyrene foam and single use plastics” across San Diego.

In the first phase, city food vendors will no longer be allowed to provide plastic/bioplastic utensils or straws unless they are requested by a customer.

RELATED: City Council votes to ban Styrofoam across San Diego

The city says food service ware, coolers, ice chests and pool or beach toys made of polystyrene foam will be prohibited at city facilities.

The ordinance’s next phase is scheduled to take effect May 24. In that phase, egg cartons, food service ware and food trays made or partly made from Styrofoam will not be allowed to be sold or distributed.

The following items are also prohibited as part of the May phase: Bowls, plates, trays, cups, lids and other similar items designed for one-time use for prepared foods, including containers for dine-in, takeout food and leftovers.

Businesses or restaurants with a gross annual income of less than $500,000 are considered exempt from the ordinance until Feb. 23, 2020. Those businesses or restaurants can apply for waivers to address any issues.

RELATED: Small restaurant owners to discuss effects of Styrofoam ban on business

City officials said they hope the ordinance can help prevent Styrofoam and single-use plastics from littering San Diego’s environment and waterways.

For more information on the new ordinance, click here .