The second part of the bag ban enacted by the City of Santa Barbara will start on Friday, November 14, mandating that smaller stores such as food marts, liquor stores, and gas stations no longer offer single-use plastic bags but instead charge a 10-cent fee for paper bags and encourage the use of reusable bags. Other types of stores now affected include convenience stores, drug stores, and smaller grocery stores. The ban doesn’t account for bags used for fruits and vegetables, meat, and pharmacy prescriptions, and those enrolled in food-assistance programs can avoid the paper-bag charge.
The rules for larger stores — those bigger than 10,000 square feet — took effect in May, and according to city officials, have diverted millions of bags from the Tajiguas landfill. Once the entirety of the ordinance — which the City Council approved in October 2013 — is in place, officials expect it to save up to 44 million bags per year.