Reasons for Exemption
The purpose of this ordinance is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public and protect the environment by reducing waste, litter and pollution. The County of Santa Cruz has an obligation to protect the environment, the economy, and public health. The County of Santa Cruz has an official Zero Waste goal, which is to be reached by waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting. The County of Santa Cruz is situated at the edge of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Material which is littered or otherwise deposited improperly in the County can find its way into the Monterey Bay and can negatively impact the marine environment and sea life. Single use disposable cups are a major contributor to street litter, ocean pollution, marine and other wildlife harm and greenhouse gas emissions. The production, consumption and disposal of single use cups contributes significantly to the depletion of natural resources. Litter in waterways and oceans breaks down into smaller pieces that are not biodegradable and are present in most of the world's oceans. Some single use cups can contain harmful fluorinated chemicals which are linked to serious, health conditions.