Today was a good day for plastic bag reductions in Santa Barbara. This afternoon the Santa Barbara City Council gave final approval to a citywide plastic checkout bag ban at all food retailers in the city that is scheduled to take effect in six months at larger stores then twelve months from now at small stores. Later in the afternoon, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors moved a similar item forward for final votes to come next year that would cover the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County.
It's been a multi-year process to get to this point and it would not be possible without the help of BEACON, a joint-powers authority, to coordinate a regional environmental impact report (EIR) that saved it's member municipalities tens of thousands of dollars. It also would not be possible with out the help from other great groups like Community Environmental Council, Santa Barbara Coastkeeper, Environmental Defense Center, Save The Mermaids, and the great activists with the Surfrider Foundation Santa Barbara Chapter.