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About the Bag Ordinance

Annual Reports: All stores must submit their annual report online.


In 2014 the City of Santa Barbara implemented its Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance (full text). 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. The 10-cent charge on paper bags may be retained by stores for use in complying with the ordinance.

Who does the ordinance apply to?

All stores in Santa Barbara that sell a line of groceries must complete self-certification. Store owners and managers can learn more here.

Shopper can expect to be offered a paper bag or heavy-duty reusable plastic bag for 10 cents in any store that sells groceries.

Learn More

Inside Santa Barbara newsmagazine piece explaining the "why" and "what" of the new rules (07:56)


Bag Collection

Video Journalism

The Impact of Using Plastic Bags

Approximately 47,300,000 single-use plastic bags are distributed in Santa Barbara annually. These bags are made mostly from non-renewable natural gas and petroleum and represent an unnecessary waste of resources. After taking and using one from a retail store, a customer may reuse a single-use plastic bag at home or recycle it, but the majority of them end up in a landfill or as litter (less than 5% in California are recycled).

Single-use plastic bags that become litter can enter storm drains and watersheds or may be blown directly into the ocean by wind. Once in the coastal habitat, marine species can ingest them or become entangled in the bag, leading to fatal results.
Last Updated: May 1, 2020
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