The cities of Brentwood, Monrovia, Milpitas and the county of Santa Barbara are acting to address plastic bag pollution. Though they are at different stages in the process, each community is seriously considering adoption of a single-use bag ordinance.
• Brentwood’s city staff is researching options on reducing plastic bag use and is expected to return with a report in early 2014.
• Monrovia formed a committee to study various options, including a phased in bag ban and a ban on plastic bags at all retail stores. No dates or deadlines have been set.
• Milpitas is holding community meetings this week on its proposed single-use bag ordinance. The ban would apply to retail stores citywide. The draft ordinance will go before the council on Tuesday, Nov. 19.
• Santa Barbara County’s Board of Supervisors voted last week to proceed with an ordinance to restrict single-use bags in the unincorporated parts of the county. The Environmental Impact Report will be presented in April, 2014.
Despite their lightweight material, plastic bags disproportionately affect the waste stream. When they clog recycling machinery (as shown in the photo above) and sewer systems, it is taxpayers who foot the bill for clean up. Single-use plastic products like bags may be convenient in the moment, but they have long-lasting impacts. Small actions, like bringing your own reusable bags to the grocery store, or refusing a plastic bag when it's offered, can help offset those impacts.
However, with over 13 billion single-use plastic bags produced in California last year, source reduction is the only way to truly curb single-use plastic bag pollution.
Find out how your community can help address plastic pollution with our Bag Ban Tool Kit.