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Protecting our Environment from Plastics

Release Date: 2020-02-06

This week the City took another huge step forward to protect the environment, especially our beaches and ocean. As a coastal city we have to lead on issues concerning climate change and conservation and over the last few years we have been transitioning away from plastic bags in supermarkets and polysterene food containers at restaurants. Now we've expanded this program to include plastic straws, as well as polystyrene food containers at retail locations.

Plastic straws and polystyrene are incredibly damaging to wildlife and often end up in our waterways and on our beaches. We see the damage to sealife in our harbor. Dolphins, turtles and other marine life can be harmed or even killed by stray plastic, which stays in the ocean for hundreds of years.

In 2011, Long Beach eliminated disposable plastic bags and in April 2018, I signed legislation to phase out polystyrene food containers. As you may have noticed, many of our local businesses have already transitioned to more sustainable, biodegradable products and I think their customers appreciate it. I think our marine life does too.

Under the new law, people with disabilities will still be able request plastic straws and straws made of other materials will be available on request to anyone as well.

I want to thank everyone who worked so hard advocating for this progressive policy, including Surfrider and the Sierra Club. I know this will take a little getting used to, but I also know that Long Beach has to be a leader in promoting a clean environment and a sustainable economy and I'm proud we've taken these steps.

Go Long Beach,

Mayor Robert Garcia