San Diego, California’s Second-Largest City, Bans Plastic Foam - Oceana USA

San Diego, California’s Second-Largest City, Bans Plastic Foam

Oceana Applauds the City of San Diego for Reducing the Amount of Plastics Flooding Our Planet

Press Release Date: December 6, 2022

Location: San Diego


Melissa Morris, Melissa Valliant | email:, | tel: Melissa Morris, Melissa Valliant

Today, San Diego lawmakers passed an ordinance prohibiting plastic-foam foodware and coolers, as well as making utensils and straws available to patrons upon request only, making it the latest Southern California city to tackle the plastic pollution crisis through policy. Under the new law, retailers, hotels, and restaurants would be prohibited from distributing any type of plastic-foam foodware, as well as egg cartons and non-encased coolers. With over 1.4 million people living in San Diego, this is a significant step in curbing plastic pollution.

“With today’s vote, San Diego joins a growing number of U.S. cities, counties, and states that have taken initiative to address the plastic pollution crisis,” said Oceana’s Southern California field representative, Melissa Morris. “Local governments are sending a clear message: We don’t want plastic in our air, soil, water, and food, and we’re going to take action to stop it.”

Single-use plastic foodware and food packaging products are consistently among six of the top 10 types of items most commonly collected during annual beach cleanups across California. This past June, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 54 requiring producers to slash their single-use plastic packaging and foodware by at least 25% by 2032 and implement the first reuse and refill mandates in the nation. Because of polystyrene foams’ risks to the environment and human health, the City of San Diego has decided to eliminate its use altogether for foodware and other products.

Scientists estimate that 33 billion pounds of plastic wash into the ocean every year. That equates to about two garbage trucks’ worth of plastic entering the ocean every minute. Plastic has been found in every corner of the world and has turned up in drinking water, beer, salt, honey and more. It’s also one of the greatest contributors to climate change. In fact, if plastic were a country, it would be the fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. With plastic production growing at a rapid rate, increased amounts of plastic can be expected to flood our blue planet with devastating consequences.

To learn more about Oceana’s campaign to stop plastic pollution, please visit  

Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one-quarter of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 225 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that 1 billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit to learn more.