Bag Ban Toolkit
Interested in passing a plastic bag ordinance in your city or county? To get started, check out the resources below, including links to the most current local ordinances.
- Bag Ordinance Table - summary table of current local ordinances in chronological order of adoption (pdf)
- Full List of Local CA Ordinances (includes links to ordinance language)
- Sample Support Letter
- What did your city spend to prevent marine debris? (August 2013 NRDC Survey of 95 CA cities. Full report here)
- The Real Cost of Single-Use Plastic Bags
- Plastic Bag Impacts and Bag Ban Results
- Setting the Record Straight: Common Myths and Misperceptions from Bag Ban Opponents
- Frequently Asked Questions about Bag Bans
Reusable Bag Safety. Rebuttals and related links for:
- University of Arizona/Loma Linda University study
- Wharton School Institute for Law and Economics paper
- Case study of Norovirus outbreak in Oregon
- Local bans have directly eliminated over 5 billion plastic shopping bags per year and all the resulting litter and waste—66 million lbs of plastic.
- Local policies have reduced paper bag consumption by nearly 400 million bags annually.
- Local bag policies have already resulted in the reduction of approximately 185,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.
- LA County: 95% reduction of all single-use bags (30% reduction of paper) (also see this Nov 2012 update).
- San Jose: San Jose found a 76% reduction in creek and river litter, a 59% drop in park and roadside plastic bag litter, and a 69% reduction in plastic bag litter in storm drains. Visual observations in stores reported that 54.6% of bags used by customers were reusable, and 44.6% of customers did not use any bag.
- Alameda County: In less than 2 years, 85% fewer bag purchases overall as stores reported buying 50-90% fewer bags. More than double the amount of customers are now bringing in their own bags or leaving without any. Plastic bags found in storm drains decreased by roughly 44%.
- San Francisco (Table ES-5): 18% reduction in plastic bag street litter from 2007 to 2009.
- Mountain View: From July 2009 to July 2014, observed that shoppers using single-use bags decreased from 66% to 11%, while shoppers that used reusable bags or no bags increased from 34% to 89%.
- San Mateo County: 162% more people bringing their own bags, 130% more people carrying out items without a bag.
- Santa Barbara: After 2 years, almost 45 million single-use plastic shopping bags were eliminated; an estimated 95% of all plastic bags generated in the city. The vast majority of consumers shifted to reusable or no bags, with paper bag consumption reduced by as much as 42%.
- Santa Cruz/Monterey: Beach cleanups show that as more local bans were passed between 2009 and 2013, the average number of plastic bags found decreased from 65 per event to just 6.
- Southern California cities with bag bans have one-third as many plastic bags/pieces in their storm water runoff.
- Every Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) to date has demonstrated that replacing the 10 billion single-use plastic bags with reusable bags will result in a substantially reduced environmental footprint.
- While many consumers will continue to use a favorite reusable bag for years, LCA’s indicate that reusable bags, including those made from thick recycled plastic as authorized by SB270, can have a reduced environmental impact after a relatively small number of ‘reuses’.
Need more information? Learn more about The Problem of Plastic Bags. Check out our Campaign to End Single-Use Plastic Bags. Jurisdictions should consider joining our Local Government Collaborative. For more information, call (916) 443-5422.