UCSB’s bookstore is halting its distribution of plastic bags today in celebration of its first Day Without a Bag.
Santa Barbara City Council members Grant House and Cathy Murillo will hold a press conference today at 12:30 p.m. in front of the bookstore to discuss the environmental effects of large-scale plastic bag use and provide students with information about Santa Barbara County legislation aimed at banning single-use plastic bags. In lieu of plastics, free reusable bags will be handed out in front of the UCen, De La Guerra Dining Commons and Manzanita Village courtesy of the Coastal Fund, Associated Students and Housing & Residential Services.
Later this month, the bookstore will begin phasing out the use of single-use plastic bags, providing optional compostable bags instead.
The city of Carpinteria banned the use of single-use bags in all stores and restaurants last month, permitting only the use of paper bags in businesses making less than $5 million in gross annual income. On March 20, the city faced a lawsuit from the San Francisco-based Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, which claimed the ban violated state health laws and prevented customers from safely transporting hot takeout food.
However, Murillo said the majority of Santa Barbara City Council members support banning single-use bags.
“Five out of seven of us voted for the plastic bag ban; that’s a supermajority,” Murillo said. “But [the other] two [members] are pretty against the ban and have even written op-eds published in … the [Santa Barbara] News-Press.”
Murillo said the Santa Barbara City Council will build a committee to draft an ordinance on behalf of various cities within Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.