This city will ban the use of single-use plastic containers, bags and bottles
SAN DIEGO -
Disposable knives, forks and spoons are some of the plastic items that will be banned in Carlsbad, California, starting next year and will become mandatory on July 1, 2023, according to a time path established in a document that seeks environmental sustainability and which was adopted this week by the council.
Carlsbad joins other cities in the county, including Vista, Encinitas, Solana Beach and San Diego, that have or are considering banning and restricting a number of single-use plastic items, from bags to bottles.
New state laws require these changes to reduce litter, marine pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to protect wildlife and public health.
"I'm very excited," said Carlsbad Councilwoman Priya Bhat-Patel. "It's going to be something that many of our future generations are going to thank us for."Ad
The council unanimously accepted the sustainability plan and approved two new full-time jobs at an annual cost of $243,508 to implement it. It also approved four new full-time positions at an annual cost of $537,375 to oversee state-mandated organic recycling and food recovery programs.
The ban on single-use plastic utensils, except for consumers who specifically request them, is mandated by Assembly Bill 1276, which the governor signed into law on Oct. 5.
"We arrived just in time to meet this new regulation," said James Wood, the city's director of environmental management. “We have thoroughly investigated and are ready to begin.”
Most restaurants contacted so far have indicated they are willing to cooperate, he said, though some have asked for help finding acceptable substitute materials. There will also be a public education campaign.
In addition to reducing waste and increasing recycling, the city's sustainability plan emphasizes making wise purchasing decisions.
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Whenever possible, City employees will use recycled materials and products with a low carbon footprint. Examples cited for the Council include the use of refillable pens and dry erase markers, rechargeable batteries instead of single use batteries, and recycled content paper and packaging materials.
Carlsbad will also join the cities of Solana Beach and Encinitas in banning the sale of plastic water bottles on city premises and at city-sponsored public events, and will ban the intentional release of Mylar balloons, plastic or latex filled with helium or any other gas lighter than air.
California became the first state in the nation to pass a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags in grocery stores, drug stores and corner markets with the passage of Senate Bill 270 in 2014. The Carlsbad's plan would expand that law to include bags used in takeout from restaurants and other businesses.
The city's sustainability plan also complies with a 2016 state law, Senate Bill 1383, that requires cities to reduce organic waste going to landfills by 75 percent by 2025.
Organic waste includes food scraps, garden clippings, wood, manure, cardboard, and other plant or animal products. The law also sets a goal of reclaiming at least 20 percent of edible food that is now thrown away and redirecting it to people in need.
Organic waste in landfills generates methane, a greenhouse gas that, when released into the atmosphere, affects the Earth's climate system, and SB 1383 was written to reduce it.
Carlsbad recently signed a contract with Republic Services effective July 1, 2022, to take over waste hauling services now performed by Waste Management.
Under the new contract, Republic will provide kitchen food waste containers for residents to collect food waste to empty into the green organics collection container.
The city will continue to send its green and organic waste to the composting and mulching facility at El Corazón in Oceanside under the new contract.