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Plastic Pollution Global Problem. Local Solutions. The Problem
April 23, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Tuesday, April 23rd
9am – 11am
Solana Beach Community Center
Global Problem. Local Solutions.
Please join us for this informative talk with Solana Beach City Leaders regarding the impact of single-use plastics in our community.
Single-use plastics are a growing environmental problem worldwide. Plastic pollution reaches our oceans and endangers marine life, ultimately entering our food chain and eroding our health. Plastic trash debris flows off our shores and into ocean currents that swirl the plastic pieces into gyres of floating trash. One gyre, called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is floating in the Pacific between California and Hawaii and by some estimates the garbage patch is larger than the country of Mexico. The plastic in these garbage patches does not decompose, but rather it breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces, which are then often ingested by marine life.
Through data collected from beach clean ups, the following items are among the most often found polluting our beaches and winding up in our ocean: plastic bottle caps, plastic beverage bottles, plastic bags, plastic straws and stirrers, plastic lids, plastic utensils, foam takeout containers, plastic takeout containers, plastic cups and plates, and foam cups and plates.
Many cities, states and countries are responding throughout the world. California bans most single use plastic bags, and allows restaurants to provide plastic straws only on request. Over 120 cities in our state have gone farther, significantly reducing the amount of single use plastics they discard.
Solana Beach Action
Solana Beach has long been a leader in Environmental Sustainability. In order to address Global Warming, the City Council adopted a Climate Action Plan in 2017 [Click here to view Climate Action Plan] with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2035 from levels measured in 2010.
Because waste contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, one of the measures in the Climate Action Plan calls for the diversion of 90% of solid waste away from the landfills (Measure W-1). Plastics also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions via fossil fuels used in the materials and production of plastic products.
Based on the Climate Action Plan, and to address the local and global plastics problem, City Council incorporated the reduction of one-time plastic use items into its Work Plan and directed the Climate Action Commission to research potential plastic restrictions and propose measures for City Council to consider enacting in Solana Beach.
The Climate Action Commission researched and compiled measures enacted in other cities to come up with a list of recommended measures for the Solana Beach City Council to consider. The recommended measures were presented to City Council at a public meeting on November 13, 2018 [Click here to view Staff Report]. Council received the recommendations and directed Staff to reach out to the business community and residents for review and comment.