Confetti is Litter

Confetti is litter outreach

By the City of Santa Barbara

The use of confetti at Santa Barbara parades and festivals is growing, in both the number of events where confetti is used and the volume of confetti tossed. While confetti eggs or cascarones have long been a tradition at Santa Barbara’s Old Spanish Days, we are now seeing large bags of confetti being dumped on our sidewalks, streets, and parks during Summer Solstice, Fourth of July, Fiesta, and Holiday parades and celebrations.

In addition to paper confetti, the volume of shiny metallic confetti, sequins, and glitter is increasing. These are all made of plastic and are often mistaken for food and consumed by birds and other animals. Confetti can easily wash or blow into our storm drains, creeks, and ocean, where it poses a threat to aquatic life.

While you’re celebrating in the City, we encourage you to choose paper confetti and use it sparingly!

  • Storm drains lead to our creeks and ocean untreated.
  • Confetti can be mistaken for food by birds, fish, and other wildlife.
  • Shiny metallic confetti, sequins, and glitter are all made of plastic, which is not biodegradable.
  • Throwing confetti and leaving it behind is littering!

Are you a vendor making cascarones to sell? Click here for PDF attachments.

Please only use paper confetti (or leaves!), and do not add plastic or foam decorations on the outside of the eggs.

Want to help spread the word about confetti litter?

Download and share confetti outreach materials.

What do you think?


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  1. Fiesta has always been a fund-raiser for local non-profits, with lots of volunteers who work long and hard to keep its traditional activities going. it is not an un taxed, unpermitted free for all sidewalk gauntlet that discourages locals from even coming down town. Bring back the original spirit of Fiesta – ban unpermitted vendors and stop making others clean up their non-sanctioned messes.

  2. I’m saying it should stop. This town has too many environmental hypocrites who protest anything oil related and ban plastic straws yet think it’s okay to litter our streets, storm drains and oceans for a few weeks a year because it’s “tradition”. Plastic or paper, they are still a mess and still pollutants that end up in our oceans.

  3. Coscarones and Mylar/plastic confetti are the main reason I am an anti-Fiestite. In the days and weeks after “america’s largest equestrian parade”, I see lots of it on beaches, presumably washed down storm drains. We should have a zero tolerance policy for this nuisance.

  4. There’s no set-in-stone reason for confetti to be part of Fiesta. If the “tradition” continues to be a part of Fiesta, then shredded mylar/plastic along with the mylar/plastic decorations on the eggs should not be allowed. Personally, I would like to see the whole cascarones thing done away with entirely. I am pretty darn certain the dyes in the bits of paper and the glues used are not healthy for our oceans and creeks.

  5. I love all the plastic confetti & trash, not to mention getting hit in the face by any number of flashing noise makers! After my epileptic fit, I drag my junk through broken glass to top it off. ¡VIVA FIESTA!

  6. I see all the confetti after Fiesta and I just think of all the wonderful fun so many kids and people had. I think of all the families saving up the eggs during the year in anticipation of another Fiesta. I’d rather see that than whole bunch of cigarette butts discarded by people burning their lungs out.

  7. Red Creek – please tell me your perception on the history of Fiesta. I’m going to doubt when Leo Carillo was parade marshall that everyone selling street food was permitted. You have no facts or data.

  8. We have a mayor and 6 councilmembers. They ride in the parade, waving for votes and do nothing about the litter. Four of them are up for election this year. How much do you want to bet that none of them will do any cleanups. Councilmember Dale Francisco used to help in the Milpas area cleanups. You don’t see that happening with the ones we have now. Too bad he’s such a despised (in this town) minority.

  9. Sell cascarones only at Fiesta permitted booths – and sales profits go support a local non-profit of choice, just like all the other non-profit fund-raising Fiesta activities. Unpermitted scofflaws have ruined this for everyone.

  10. really? I’ve been going with my family as a kid since 1982 and it’s been the same…year after year. What blows me away, is that a bunch of wankers crying over confetti eggs! FFS people…let’s not focus on the alcohol related fights, thefts, accidents, sexual assaults, people passed out on State, etc….I sadly, stepped over 6 passed out drunks simply walking down Ortega Street to State and DLG last year…now THAT is more of a problem.

  11. SBAMARK. Yours is what as known as “ignoratio elenchi” (ignoring refutation). “Missing the point, is the informal fallacy of presenting an argument that may or may not be logically valid and sound, but (whose conclusion) fails to address the issue in question.”

  12. RED CREEK. You always are the voice of reason on these threads. Thank you for that. Last time my significant other and I went to downtown Fiesta was a few years back. We hadn’t walked Fiesta State St in a while. We were completely floored by the amount of vendors crowding the sidewalks. This was Fiesta? Obviously these cascarone sellers are part of an out-of-town operation that swarms up to Santa Barbara to sell their wares. But what really got us was the booths with junky (and I do mean El Cheapo) crap that was being hawked right near De La Guerra Plaza: sombreros, sandals, kitschy trash items brought up from Mexico. I felt like I was no longer in my home town, but stuck in some terrible disaster of a movie taking place in a turistos creepy part of Tijuana.

  13. ZEROHAWK. This is your pro-plastic confetti rebuttal argument? You go on the attack? The entire point here is that much of the plastic/mylar trash (not just the eggs’ innards, but the exterior plastic/mylar decorations and glue) ends up in the storm drains and even hangs around for weeks after in the planted areas. The clean up doesn’t catch every bit of the plastic trash. It saddens me that someone who has lived here for so long doesn’t feel more protective about and kind toward Santa Barbara’s beaches and ocean.

  14. Local environmental hypocrites support Street Confetti TRASH from the right people because they are social justice politically correct group-thinkers who can’t risk being called racists, or voicing any concern against Mexican culture. Count the numbers who come out with confetti for the Fiesta versus a flag for 4th of July Parade to celebrate our country. Observe how clean the streets are after the 4th of July Parade. Environmentalists come join Patriots with your flag.

  15. Two of my favorites are smokers that also leave their butts on the street, and the ‘children in cars’ that speed down Haley and Gutierrez where the speed limit is 25. Both would be sooooo easy to enforce, but nooooooooo…

  16. Two of my favorites are smokers that also leave their butts on the street, and the ‘children in cars’ that speed down Haley, Gutierrez and Montecito where the speed limit is 25. Both would be sooooo easy to enforce, but nooooooooo…

  17. Like IV Delatopia did, Fiesta has become an expensive mess. It needs to be cut back. Banning confetti, another litter that fills fish bellies until they can’t hold food and they slowly starve to death is a good start. The majority of the eggs are brought in from elsewhere and are no longer a cottage industry, so that’s no excuse if it ever was.

  18. I have long been an opponent of cascarones and have suggested that the best way to stop their use would be to ticket those using them for littering! Imagine how much money would be generated to help with the cost of cleanup.

  19. The confetti eggs are a huge mess, and maybe should no longer be sold, when I’m down there, that’s exactly what I think wow what a big mess. Then the street sweepers come and get most of it. All venders are supposed to have a license and pay taxes. Are they being checked all the sellers, they should be, if they do not have the proper papers they should be told to leave.
    Each year I go they are more and more people selling those eggs, what a waste.

  20. wow you’re just a grinch then arent you? i’ve lived downtown most of my 48 years here and we absolutely love the eggs, confetti and the entire party. MY taxes go to help clean it up and i’m happy about that.

  21. I wouldn’t worry about that. They bring in cops from beyond all three counties to arrest drunk drivers. It’s their biggest pay day of the year. They don’t care about anything else but DUIs. That’s what brings in the money, honey.

  22. Fiesta was not always “a mess” with non-permitted vendors selling factory produced cascarones and mountains of cheap clothing and tourist goods. It was, and always has been up to recently, put on by folks who lived in an around Santa Barbara, worked downtown, and enjoyed the local party. Food was produced by the non-profits, and the crowds were modest. These problems of trash, non-permitted vendors, large crowds and associated problems have happened in the past twenty years, perhaps an offshoot of tourism industry promotion and growth? In any event, the trash should be the first to be banned, as it serves no public purpose to have a pile of plastic confetti at your feet (or in your hair) or worst of all, on our beaches.

  23. At 5:18 – you have got to be kidding. You’re upset that our “Old Spanish Days” has vendors with sombreros and other touristy “trash” from Mexico?? Seriously, what do you expect? Would you prefer vendors selling high end art? Fancy clothes? What do you think people should be selling on the streets at a Spanish/Mexican festival in a tourist town?

  24. I don’t think the people making and selling these are exactly the type to be reading Santa Barbara City Notices. In fact, I’d be willing to bet most of the “vendors” don’t even live in Santa Barbara. The only way to control this is either strict regulation or everyone stops buying them. We all know how this is going to end.

    • Wow BOSCO, seriously? You must be new to SB and Fiesta, and your comment borders on sounding racist! Not cool! Exactly what type reads Edhat? I have made cascarones for 50+ years, as have many of my family members and we read Edhat, imagine that! Maybe think before you comment on something you have no clue about.

  25. Parades are great, but not if they involve trashing our city, beaches, and ocean. The City of SB is ultimately responsible to manage this stuff. If they continue to allow random confetti, eggs, etc. people will keep tossing it everywhere. Gotta do better. The city council is having a tough time with lots of things these days.

  26. The city council has had a tough time with confetti eggs for at least the last 20 years. Can the current city council fix confetti eggs and State Street at the same time? Hell No. The current braintrust at City Council, top to bottom couldn’t change a tire without a party line consultant and their fixers

  27. Unless they are completely banned the problem will continue. Maybe it would be possible to fill the eggs with multi-colored Rice Krispies or Fruit Loops. That way the conrents would easily break apart, disintegrate, and the birds would have a feast. Just thinkin’ outside the box, but I’m sure there are other similar “fixes.”

  28. Last year I saw a group get out of a van. They has thousands of eggs. Each took a batch and spread out to sell. They also has small zip lock bags full of a mix of paper and Mylar confetti they sold. I spoke to one of the ladies she told me they come every year 2 vans from loa Angles when it becomes a business maybe a permit it required. Then the mass production will stop. Those who have been here know how out of control this has become. Cities grow and some traditions just do not fend well,

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