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Santa Barbara Council Votes to Proceed with Plan for Carrying Out Plastic Bag Ban

March 14, 2012

“Would you like to buy a bag?” The phrase is now familiar in many California cities, and Santa Barbara could be added to the list of those to ban plastic bags from stores and require merchants to charge for paper or reusable bags.

There are 19 jurisdictions in California with plastic bag bans, and many have been legally challenged but are pending rulings in Courts of Appeal. Some lawsuit-avoidance tips from city staff members included conducting an environmental impact report, exempting restaurants from the ban and steering clear of tax-related restrictions.

The bans wouldn’t apply to product bags for meat or vegetables; restaurants; newspaper bags; dry cleaning bags; or prescription drug bags.

Santa Barbara has been considering a bag ban for years, given the number of them that end up as litter, the impact on the environment and the pure volume dumped every year in the Tajiguas Landfill.

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