The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday adopted a single-use bag-ban ordinance that will apply to certain retail food and grocery stores throughout the city.
The ordinance will ban single-use plastic carryout bags and require stores to charge 10 cents per paper bag. Stores will have to report to the city the number of bags given out, money taken in and educational efforts to reduce bag use.
Scroll down to view the ordinance in full.
Stores that are 10,000 square feet or larger (such as grocery stores or pharmacies) will have 180 days from the effective date to comply, and smaller stores will have a year.
Bag-ban ordinances focus on food stores such as supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies and other stores that sell food items including milk, bread, soda and snack foods.
There are 20 “Tier 1” stores in the city, 62 “Tier 2 cities” with a year to comply and 18 that the city is still figuring out, according to environmental services manager Matt Fore.
Santa Barbara’s ordinance was the model for a regional environmental impact report done by BEACON, the Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment. With cities in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties sharing the EIR, they can all use it as a base for their own ordinances.
Single-use plastic bag bans have been implemented all over California and challenged in court almost as often. Lawsuits have focused on the provision of banning plastic carry-out bags in restaurants or other prepared food venues, and Santa Barbara made sure to exclude those kinds of uses from the ban.
Carpinteria has had a similar ban in effect for almost a year and store owners have said customers — locals and tourists — have taken the changes in stride. Unlike most cities, though, Carpinteria’s ordinance doesn’t let stores offer paper bags at a price, only reusable bags.