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CEC is committed to creating a more resilient and just region in the face of climate change. Through our work with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and elsewhere, our vision includes an end to racial injustices and their resulting environmental inequities.

Your support helped the City of Santa Barbara continue to ditch single-use plastic.

Great news on two fronts!

Styrofoam Food Service & Retail Ban

The Santa Barbara City Council just voted 7-0 to ban food service expanded polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) in the City of Santa Barbara starting January 1, 2019. We join nearly 120 other California cities in reducing this single-use plastic item that often ends up on beaches and in the ocean.

In addition, Santa Barbara joins Carpinteria and more than 20 other California cities in banning retail sales of these products. We are thrilled that more than a decade of advocacy has paid off, and we are hopeful that the local momentum will ultimately result in a state law.

Plastic Straw Ban & Utensil Reduction

We are also very excited that the City of Santa Barbara took the lead on banning straws with a 6-1 vote, becoming the first city in the county to take a stand on this overused item. We are now part of the solution in reducing the 500 million plastic straws that Americans use each day. This law will go into effect on January 1, 2019 and includes a provision that food providers must ask customers if they need plastic cutlery or stirrers.

Thanks to the hundreds of supporters who wrote letters, signed postcards or spoke at today’s hearing, especially to the inspiring children who spoke and passed love letters to the sea out to the Council. We are also grateful for our continuing partnership with Santa Barbara Channelkeeper. Together we are truly helping our region #DitchPlastic.

Original Alert

The Community Environmental Council has been advocating for single-use plastics reduction in our region for more than a decade. This July, we invite you to help move the needle in two ways: participate in the Plastic Free July Challenge and tell the Santa Barbara City Council to #ditchplastic. See details below on how to join our campaigns.

Take the Plastic Free July Challenge July 1 – July 31

Join CEC and our partners at Santa Barbara Channelkeeper to take the Plastic Free July Challenge this month. The idea is simple: either commit to refusing ALL single-use plastic for the month OR eliminate the ‘top four’ – plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups, and straws. Click here to take the challenge now.

Tell Santa Barbara City Council to #ditchplastic Tuesday, July 17 

With your help, CEC and our partners successfully advocated for local laws that reduce the use of plastic bags. We’re now using the same strategy to reduce distribution of other single-use plastics – including Styrofoam (a.k.a. expanded polystyrene), straws, plastic cutlery, and coffee stirrers. Click here to sign the petition now.

Why Does This Matter?

Cities across California are moving to eliminate single-use plastics. To date, more than 114 local governments across the state have adopted bans on Styrofoam (also known as EPS – expanded polysterene), and many have bans on plastic straws.

Styrofoam (a.k.a Expanded Polysterene or EPS)

Worldwide, EPS is the #1 most common form of pollution found on beaches. Styrofoam breaks apart into small pieces that are blown around easily by the wind, making it one of the most difficult types of litter to clean up. An ordinance decreasing the amount of EPS distributed in our community will:

• reduce EPS foam in urban litter, local waterways, and the ocean.
• reduce associated clean-up costs.
• preserve marine wildlife and ecosystems.

Plastic Straws & Stirrers

California Coastal Cleanup Day has tracked the amount of trash collected on beaches since 1992 and plastic straws (and stirrers) are the 6th most common item collected.

Encouraging people to skip the plastic straw will
• help businesses save money by reducing the numbers of straws they give away.
• reduce our community’s environmental footprint.
• reduce the amount of waste in landfills and pollution on our beaches

Join CEC in strongly urging Santa Barbara City to stem the tide of plastics polluting our beaches and ocean by adopting ordinances that eliminate or greatly reduce EPS food service products as well as single-use plastic straws, cutlery, and stirrers.

Click here to sign the petition now.

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