Bag Ban Toolkit


Interested in passing a plastic bag ordinance in your city, county or state? To get started, check out the resources below:

Reusable Bag Safety. Rebuttals and related links for:

Ordinance Results:

  • 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.

Other facts:

  • 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’. 

Learn more about The Problem of Plastic Bags. Need more information? Call (916) 443-5422.