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Bag Rally
updated: Mar 25, 2010, 2:16 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

An underground movement to end society's addiction to the use of single- use bags will take to the streets on Tuesday, March 30th; with a 1 p.m. march on Santa Barbara City Hall.

Santa Barbara Residents are encouraged to attend what will be a visually stunning, fun, and inspiring event designed to convince City Council members to approve a November ballot issue to place a tax on use of paper and plastic bags.

"On the day of the rally the Council will discuss if they should survey Santa Barbara residents to test the depth of support for a tax on plastic bags," said Scott T. Walker, one of the organizers of the rally. "But the process could be moved along much faster if all Council members simply vote to place the measure on the November ballot. A strong turnout of residents at the rally could force that kind of unanimous consent."

Convincing City Council members to place the bag tax on the ballot would create city revenue in a time of economic need, speed up the process to
environmental rehabilitation, and enlist local businesses as willing partners. More than 10 organizations in Santa Barbara are dedicated to increase awareness about the environmental dangers of single use bags.

Residents should be carrying their own earth-friendly, re-usable bags to our local stores. While many people have willingly changed their ways and utilize their own re-usable bags, many others have not. A tax would help change habits while at the same time generate city funds.

Of all the cities in California, Santa Barbara, with its brilliant ocean and soaring mountains, should be leading the way on this most basic of environmental issues. The change is in the hands of each citizen of Santa Barbara

"Love Yer' Bag." Come to the Rally, get a free re-usable bag, then, use it again, and again, and again.


Santa Barbara City Council will be receiving a proposal from City Environmental Services Division staff on Tues March 30th to approve $23,000 in funding to conduct a public survey to take the pulse of local voters about ways to reduce the use of disposable shopping bags (both plastic and paper), including in particular whether they’d vote yes on a ballot initiative to implement a nominal tax at the cash register of large retail stores for each disposable bag taken/used by the customer. (Fees on disposable bags have been used in other places and have proven to be most successful incentive in getting shoppers to bring their own bags.)

More info on the proposed survey:

The proposal to conduct such a poll was supported by the former City Council last December; at that time they directed staff to solicit bids from polling firms, which they have done. Now the new Council must vote on whether to approve the funds to conduct the poll by the firm chosen by Environmental Services staff. As we all know, the City is in a tight budget situation and the new Council may be less inclined to appreciate the need for measures to address this pressing environmental problem. The up side, however, is that a tax on disposable bags could generate significant General Fund revenue for the City (including for Fire and Police and other important public services) which would help with the current budget crisis.

The City of Santa Barbara move towards some type of meaningful regulatory measure will help reduce the use of disposable bags, which are a blight on our creeks, beaches, Channel, ocean, and landfills (not to mention air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions generated by their production).

Agenda estimated hearing time to be posted soon. Check link

 EDONE agree helpful negative off topic

2010-03-25 03:10 PM

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 COMMENT 65026 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-03-26 06:33 AM

The comments seem focused on grocery stores. How many people remember to use their cloth bags when out clothes shopping, or at Osh, or when picking up take-out? Lots of businesses other than grocery stores use unnecessary plastic.


 COMMENT 65038P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-03-26 07:33 AM

The purpose of the bags would be to transport goods sold in the grocery stores, taxable items and non-taxable (presently non-taxable, that is) food items. If the voters approved it, it would be constitutional.

I doubt that many people would prefer to drive to Noleta or Goleta or Montecito rather than pay 5 or 15 cents a plastic bag. ...But stranger things have happened. :)


 EDSUP agree helpful negative off topic

2010-03-26 08:04 AM

Edhat bag? There is an edhat bag? I do not know about this bag. John Wiley, where did you get this bag?


 COMMENT 65296 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-03-27 09:05 AM

what about packaging too! when you go to buy apples, why do they package them in those plastic tubs that just end up in the dump? we need to change how we do things.


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