A final draft of an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags will go back to the Santa Barbara City Council and, if approved, calls for the city to work with another agency to create an environmental impact report for the proposal.
The Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment (BEACON) would oversee the EIR and create a side agreement with BEACON members — other cities in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties — that want to pursue an ordinance modeled off Santa Barbara’s, according to City Attorney Stephen Wiley, adding that those that commit to being included in the EIR would pay a share of the cost.
The matter — considered Tuesday by the council’s Ordinance Committee, made up of Councilmen Grant House, Randy Rowse and Frank Hotchkiss — is expected to return to the City Council in the next few weeks.
Wiley said the ban would target grocery stores but would also prohibit plastic bags from being handed out at drugs stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, convenience stores, liquor stores, foot marts or other retail stores that sell goods such as milk, bread, soda and snack foods.
It would be phased in starting with larger stores.
Stores would be able to charge 10 cents per paper bag, and the ban would exempt restaurants, fast-food places and retail stores that sell no food, such as department or clothing stores.
A year of enforcing the ordinance, doing outreach to businesses and a public education campaign would cost the city about $25,000, according to environmental services manager Matt Fore.