Phase 3 of the City’s Plastics Initiative will be considered by City Council on April 22, 2020 through a Public Hearing and Introduction of Ordinance 2020-05. The proposed ordinance will amend existing Chapter 11.27 of the City’s Municipal Code, broadening the current Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) ordinance to prohibit the following (in summary):

  • The sale of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Food Service Ware.
  • The sale of Plastic Straws and Plastic Utensils.
  • The distribution of egg cartons or food trays made from EPS.
  • The distribution of ice chests, or similar containers, made from EPS.
  • The use of EPS packaging materials.

The City of Encinitas will be accepting comments on draft Ordinance 2020-05 until April 15, 2020.  Please submit your comments to [email protected]

Phase 2 of the City’s Plastics Initiative becomes operative on April 18, 2020, following City Council adoption of Ordinance 2020-02, prohibiting the distribution of plastic bottled beverages at City facilities and special events (effective September 1, 2020).

Phase 1 of the City’s Plastics Initiative became operative on February 22, 2020, following City Council adoption of Ordinance 2019-30, requiring the following of Food Providers (as defined in the Ordinance) in Encinitas: 

  • Starting February 22, 2020 (Ordinance operative date), the distribution of Plastic Straws and/or Plastic Utensils  must be Upon Request of the Customer, or Upon Offer by the Food Provider.  This requirement includes take-out and drive-thru orders.
  • As of August 1, 2020, Food Providers will be prohibited from distributing straws made of plastic.

Helpful Information


For information on alternative products to plastics straws, click here.

Click here for downloadable materials about the City's Plastic Straws & Utensils Ordinance to share/display.

3 Steps to a Plastic-Free Encinitas

The City of Encinitas has identified plastic pollution as an environmental concern. It’s the number one source of debris found at our local beaches during volunteer clean-ups! Plastic bottles, caps, straws, and utensils are polluting our waterways and beaches – and threatening our valuable local resources. 

Single-use plastics and foam products are polluting our oceans, harming fish and wildlife. These pollutants are entering our food chain and affecting our health!  According to National Geographic, 91% of plastics disposed worldwide isn’t recycled at all.

Through a comprehensive plastics reduction initiative, three proposed measures to eliminate this waste are being incorporated into a draft ordinance for future consideration by City Council.  

Step 1:  Distribution of Plastic Straws and Utensils:

  • Upon request or upon offer by the food provider only - including fast food and takeout.
  • Phased prohibition on the distribution of plastic straws.      


Step 2: Plastic Beverage Containers (at City facilities and events)

Prohibit distribution and sales:

  • Plastic bottled beverages (less than 1 liter in size) on City property and at City-sponsored events 


Step 3: Expanded Polystyrene (a.k.a. Foam or EPS)

Prohibit distribution and sales: 

  • Food service ware
  • Egg cartons and food trays
  • Products not encased in hard plastic (Examples include coolers, ice chests, or similar containers) 

Click here to download this infographic. 

Questions about this initiative should be sent to [email protected]