Oct 22, 2013 6:19 PM by April Hansen, KSBY

SB county supervisors move forward with plastic bag ban

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted to move forward with an ordinance that would ban plastic bags in certain areas of the county.

The board requested that a permanent draft be written and brought back in the spring for a final vote.

The ordinance would affect the unincorporated parts of the county, including Orcutt and Los Alamos, and means businesses wouldn't be allowed to give customers plastic bags, only recycled paper bags or reusable.

"Do you want paper or plastic?"

It's a choice shoppers at Spencer's Fresh Market may not have next year.

Spencer's is one of 74 businesses in the county that would have to put away the plastic.

"I wouldn't like it. I've done it before where you have to put everything loose in your basket and get it to your car and then it rolls all over your car," said Steven Hess.

It would affect stores that are at least 10,000 square feet and sell dry groceries and canned goods, including drug stores, pharmacies and grocery stores.

"I didn't approve of it because people in my district feel it's a little big brother intrusion," said Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino.

Several communities on the Central Coast have already adopted a plastic bag ban.

Shoppers in San Luis Obispo County are charged 10 cents for a paper bag if they don't have a reusable shopping bag.

Santa Barbara's ban goes into effect in April 2014.

"The ordinance will come back to us in about six months and probably in about six months to a year the ordinance would be implemented," said Lavagnino.

He says that should give residents time to adjust and get used to shopping with their own bags.

"I have a few of them, but never use them. They never end up in the car," said Hess.

"If you forewarn them and that it's going to happen. They need to be forewarned, not just all of a sudden it happens and you're not prepared," said Peggy Hendry.

This plastic bag ban would also charge shoppers 10 cents if they do not bring their own bags.

It would not apply to restaurants, department stores and wine tasting rooms.




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