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Bag Ban Media, Policy & Education

The Impacts of Single-Use Carryout Bags

Santa Monica retail establishments distribute approximately 26 million (26,000,000) single-use carryout bags each year. They contribute to:

  • increased litter (including storm drain, marine and beach pollution), that persists in the environment for decades
  • green house gas emissions
  • Santa Monica’s residents and other taxpayers pay the clean-up costs and landfill fees.
Background on Single-Use Bags
  • Only since 1982 have retailers provided “free” bags to consumers (retailers pass the cost of the “free bags” to shoppers).
  • The average “free” single-use bag is used 12 minutes before being released as pollution in the environment or waste into the landfill.
  • 19 billion (19,000,000,000) single-use plastic bags are used annually in California.
  • Less than 5% of plastic bags are actually recycled.

Posters and Flyers - Graphical Support

Reusable Bag Purchase and Green Jobs

GreenVetsLA is a Los Angeles sewing company who partners with the Veterans Administration Hospital in West Los Angeles to manufacture all the reusable bags that were provided to the Santa Monica community. Veterans are trained to produce these sturdy reusable bags that are made locally from reclaimed military fabric otherwise destined for the landfill. Watch Video

“Bring Your Bag” Outreach Campaign

The “Bring Your Bag” posters and signage were developed by the Office of Sustainability and the Environment in partnership with community groups throughout Santa Monica. Community members were photographed for the 16 posters and truck signage.

Policy Resources

Media Links

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Last updated: Tuesday, 03/10/2015
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Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment
1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-2213 · TTY (310) 917-6626