The amount of plastic waste we generate each year is staggering. According to an article in National Geographic, “Mass production of plastics, which began just six decades ago, has accelerated so rapidly that it has created 8.3 billion metric tons—most of it in disposable products that end up as trash. If that seems like an incomprehensible quantity, it is. Even the scientists who set out to conduct the world’s first tally of how much plastic has been produced, discarded, burned or put in landfills, were horrified by the sheer size of the numbers.”

“We all knew there was a rapid and extreme increase in plastic production from 1950 until now, but actually quantifying the cumulative number for all plastic ever made was quite shocking,” says Jenna Jambeck, a University of Georgia environmental engineer who specializes in studying plastic waste in the oceans.

San Luis Obispo, a beautiful community located on the Central Coast of California, is choosing to do something about single use plastics that are ultimately ending up on our beaches and in our oceans.

Effective March 1st 2018, a new campaign SLO Down Plastics – Rise Above Single Use! was launched. The initiatives aim is “to educate and inspire residents to rise above single-use plastic and to provide alternatives, resources, and educational support” to the business community that is impacted by the ordinances.

Here’s the scoop on the new campaign:

  • Except upon specific request, businesses like restaurants, bars and cafes will not provide single- use beverage straws to customers.
  • The City of San Luis Obispo is also limiting the sale or distribution of single-use plastic beverage bottles and cups on City property and at special events on City property requiring a permit.
  • The ordinance also specifies that drinks cannot be served in other single-use containers, such as single-use plastic cups. Reusable containers must be used instead.
  • There is also a commitment to expand the accessibility of drinking water in public spaces, with an importance being placed on water bottle filling stations. Already, six water bottle filling stations have been installed, and they expect ten more to be installed in 2019.

(Source: San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce)

To find out more about SLO Down Plastics – Rise Above Single Use!, watch this short and informative video: