Surfrider Ventura’s “Plastic Free Ventura” campaign launched on Earth Day in 2018 as a response to the amount of single-use plastic litter that volunteers are collecting at local beach cleanups. Some of the common items collected include straws, expanded polystyrene foam (TM “Styrofoam”), plastic and bioplastic cups and utensils. Scientists estimate that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by volume – unless we act now!
Plastics and bioplastics are not marine biodegradable, but instead, photodegrades into smaller pieces of plastic causing pollution that is virtually impossible to remediate. When plastic enters our waterways, it adsorbs toxic chemicals such as DDT, PCBs, PAHs, and flame retardants that can be found in our waterways.
The Plastics Free Ventura campaign aims to convince Ventura City Council to pass a plastics and bioplastics reduction ordinance to help address the issue. There are over 119 places in California that have local legislation aimed at reducing plastic litter and Ventura should be next! A copy of our proposed ordinance will be made available on this website later in the year. This photo of the drain at the end of Figueroa St. in Ventura is located on the beach and drains directly into the ocean. This photo was taken earlier this year and exemplifies the need to act now on this issue.
HOW CAN YOU HELP? Our campaign is seeking volunteers to help with:
1. Getting our Plastic Free Ventura postcards signed! We are aiming to present 10,000 signed postcards to Ventura City Council. Email us to learn how you can help us achieve this goal.
2. Identify restaurants, food trucks, or any other type of food establishments in Ventura that do not use polystyrene or only provide straws or single use plastic upon request and email us the names of those establishments so that we can present this information to Ventura City Council.
3. Volunteer at our monthly beach cleanups at Surfers’ Point. Click Here for more info.
4. The items we are seeking to ban are listed below. When you see this type of litter in Ventura (e.g., beach, parks, parking lots, sidewalks, gutters, etc.), please photograph the litter. If possible, please collect and dispose of the litter as well. Email photographs to us and identify the location where the litter was found (see example photo below). This information will then be added to our interactive EPS/Plastics map
- Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam to-go containers, plates & cups at restaurants
- Any disposable items made from rigid #6 polystyrene such as cups and lids at restaurants
- EPS foam to-go containers, plates & cups at retails stores
- EPS foam cooler at retail stores
- Plastic and bioplastic straws
- Plastic and bioplastic cups
- Plastic and bioplastic stirrers
- Plastic and bioplastic lid plugs (e.g., coffee)
- Plastic and bioplastic utensils
- Plastic and bioplastic condiment/salsa cups
5. There are numerous companies that manufacture products that degrade naturally and are recyclable that can replace the items we are seeking to ban. Here is link to the City of Malibu’s plastic free guidelines and examples of compliant foodware. Manhattan Beach has also begun to ban plastics and has provided their guidelines.
6. Latest news on the negative impact of EPS and Plastics on our environment and us.
- Microplastics in human waste – https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/23/health/microplastics-human-stool-pollution-intl/index.html
7. Latest steps being taken to reduce or ban EPS and Plastics impact
- European Parliament’s Ban on Single Use Plastics – https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/plastic-pollution-ban-vote-eu-european-parliament-environment-ocean-meps-a8599686.html
To volunteer for the Plastic Free Ventura campaign please email: firstname.lastname@example.org