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Single-Use Bags Prohibited Beginning May 14th

It's Time for Stores to Prepare

On October 15, 2013 the Santa Barbara City Council adopted the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance. The ordinance prohibits certain stores from providing single-use plastic carryout bags to customers at the point of sale and requires a 10-cent charge for each paper bag provided to customers. 

Stores are encouraged to start preparing for the implementation of the ordinance now.  City Trash and Recycling is providing extensive information for stores and shoppers at:

The ordinance allows a six month grace period for large grocery stores and pharmacies in Santa Barbara to deplete their stocks of single-use plastic bags and to be in compliance by May 14, 2014. Smaller stores and pharmacies that carry a line of groceries have a one year grace period.

Key Dates

  • February 28, 2014: All stores in Santa Barbara that sell a line of groceries must complete a self-certification.
  • May 14, 2014: Larger supermarkets and stores with a pharmacy of 10,000 square feet of retail space or more (ordinance definition) must be in compliance
  • November 14, 2014: Smaller grocery stores, drug stores, pharmacies, convenience food stores and food marts (ordinance definition) must be in compliance

What Should Stores Do?

Shoppers don't need to do anything right now, but you can start practicing taking your reusable bag to your favorite grocery stores and pharmacies today.

Direct further inquiries to Lorraine Cruz Carpenter, City of Santa Barbara Environmental Services Division, 564-5669

Last Updated: Dec 6, 2016
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