Goleta Tackles Plastic Pollution with New Ordinance 

The Goleta City Council will consider the second reading and adoption of an ordinance at its September 6 meeting that will reduce the prevalence of single-use plastics and polystyrene pollution in Goleta, and in turn reduce plastic pollution litter in Goleta’s neighborhoods, waterways, and beaches. 

Protecting the environment is one of Goleta’s core values. The ordinance is part of the City’s Plastic Free Goleta campaign to eliminate the use of a variety of single-use plastic items to protect our environment and the oceans. It is estimated that there are over five trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean, and that by 2050 plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean. Tiny plastic fragments in the ocean are eaten by marine wildlife and enter the food chain, creating adverse effects on the environment.  

The ordinance the City is considering is a comprehensive plastic reduction policy that will improve the health and safety of the Goleta community and environment. The ordinance provisions include: 

  • Regulations to reduce the use, distribution, and sale of certain polystyrene products like foodware and packing materials (for example, styrofoam cups and packing peanuts).  
  • A prohibition of the sale and distribution of Mylar balloons and the release of balloons in the City to prevent power outages, as well as reduce marine debris and impacts to wildlife.  
  • Regulations to prohibit food service vendors from providing single-use plastic disposable foodware accessories to consumers and requiring that single-use foodware accessories be made of non-plastic and non-polystyrene materials.  
  • Requiring reusable foodware for dining on premises at restaurants to limit waste from single-use items.  
  • A prohibition on the use, sale, and distribution of single-use plastic bottles at City facilities.  

The ordinance has an extended implementation date of June 1, 2023, to give businesses and residents time to prepare and adjust. The City will develop an application process by which extensions for compliance may be applied for by local businesses for up to six months after the implementation date. A public education and outreach campaign will be implemented to spread awareness of the regulations and the importance of the reduction of plastics in advance of June 1. 

We encourage the Goleta community to join us in going plastic-free! If you want to learn more about Goleta’s recent plastics initiatives, and ways you can help the environment and wildlife, please visit Goleta’s single-use plastics webpage