Eastside Library will be closed due to construction work through 8/7.


Single Use Plastics Bans


Californians throw away 123,000 tons of plastic each year, and City of Santa Barbara's single use plastic ban is a right step towards the direction to stem the flow of plastic into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (the gyre of trash several hundred miles off the coast). 

Learn more about City of Santa Barbara regulations related to single use plastics below.


Plastic Bags

Annual Reports: All stores must submit their annual report online.


In 2014 the City of Santa Barbara implemented its Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance (full text). The ordinance prohibits certain stores from providing single-use plastic carryout bags to customers at the point of sale and requires a 10-cent charge for each paper bag provided to customers. The 10-cent charge on paper bags may be retained by stores for use in complying with the ordinance.

The What and Whys

Who does the ordinance apply to?

All stores in Santa Barbara that sell a line of groceries must complete self-certification. Store owners and managers can learn more here.

Shopper can expect to be offered a paper bag or heavy-duty reusable plastic bag for 10 cents in any store that sells groceries.

Plastic Beverage Straws, Stirrers, and Cutlery

This ordinance went into effect July 1st, 2019.

On October 9th, 2018, Santa Barbara City Council voted 6-1 to adopt an ordinance prohibiting the distribution and sale of plastic straws and stirrers as well as limitations to the distribution of plastic cutlery which can only be provided "upon request". 

Important Elements:

  • This ordinance went into effect at 2:01am on July 1st, 2019.
  • The proposed ordinance includes exemptions in consideration of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Frequently Asked Questions about Straws, Stirrers, and Cutlery Ordinance

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Foam (Expanded Polystyrene or Styrofoam)

Ban on EPS, commonly referred to as styrofoam or foam, went into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

On July 24th, 2018, Santa Barbara City Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting the distribution and retail sale of expanded polystyrene food and beverage containers.

Expanded polystyrene is commonly referred to as "styrofoam" or "foam". EPS is not recyclable in Santa Barbara. EPS products often find their way into the local environment since EPS breaks down into smaller pieces and is so light that it floats in water and is easily carried by the wind, even when it has been disposed of properly. It is in the City's interest to establish programs and services that reduce the amount of litter in the environment, in particular beach litter and marine pollution, which increases the quality of life for residents and visitors, and protects local wildlife habitat.

Frequently Asked Questions about Foam

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