OCEANSIDE, Calif. – The City of Oceanside took a big step toward banning single use plastic and single use foam products.

City council voted unanimously to direct staff to draft an ordinance that will expand the state’s single-use plastic bag ban and add a ban on polystyrene foam sales in Oceanside.

“Polystyrene doesn’t biodegrade, it just breaks down into smaller pieces,” Dianne Woelke said.

“Styrofoam is the second most commonly found item at the beach after cigarette butts,” said Mitch Silverstein, San Diego County Policy Coordinator with the Surfrider Foundation.

Oceanside City Council listened to dozens of public comments on the topic, all in support of the city moving forward.

California’s current state plastic bag ban mainly applies to grocery and convenience stores, but several cities have taken things a step further. Previous attempts at this type of ordinance in Oceanside have not been successful.

“Failed to pass the last time in 2021, but since then neighboring cities of Vista, San Marcos and Carlsbad have all passed plastic ordinances that address polystyrene foam. I think the tables have turned a little bit and hopefully Oceanside feels like now it’s our turn to do it too,” Silverstein said.

Council agreed, directing staff to draft up the ordinance with time and consideration given to how it would affect businesses.

“We heard from a lot of people, but our business community isn’t here to talk, so we definitely need to do good outreach to them,” Councilmember Rick Robinson said.

“Anything that would come back will definitely include an extended timeline for those that need a longer runway forgetting to the implementation of this ordinance,” Councilmember Eric Joyce said.

The city is aiming to have the ordinance written and back on the agenda to officially vote on it in August.