The City of Oceanside is committed to waste diversion and recycling. Through this commitment, the City of Oceanside passed a Zero Waste Strategic Resource Management Plan in June of 2012. The Zero Waste Plan has allowed the City to implement programs and provide resources to the community that has increased the City’s diversion rate from 58%-71% in less than 3 years. The Zero Waste Plan also outlines the implementation of policies that will minimize the use of single-use shopping bags. In line with this zero waste goal, the City of Oceanside is currently considering a Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance in Oceanside, and will be hosting a series of educational presentations for the public and business community during the month of January.
Single-Use Bags are lightweight and cause a unique threat to our environment because they don’t biodegrade, pollute waterways, and cause costly damage to solid waste and recycling collection systems. Unlike other waste, these bags can travel long distances due to wind and poor confinement solutions in trash containers, thus ending up in our oceans and waterways. The average shopper uses 500 single-use bags a year with an estimated cost to California cities of $12 per resident to keep litter from ending up in our waterways. In 2013, The Natural Resource Defense Council reported that the City of San Diego spent $14 million to prevent pollution caused from single-use bags alone.
In response to this issue, 145 California Cities and Counties have passed some form of a Carryout Bag Ordinance. Residents of cities who have implemented single-use ordinances become more aware of the environmental impacts and increase their support for statewide action. In order to ensure that the Oceanside community is immersed in the process, City of Oceanside staff will be providing a presentation and Q&A session at the Chamber of Commerce “Emerging Issues” meeting on Thursday, January 7th at 7:30am. Any Oceanside business member is welcome to join this meeting.
Additional and up to date information on zero waste and a potential single use bag ordinance information in Oceanside can be found at www.oceansiderecycles.org.