Santa Barbara Straw Ban – City Council Bans Plastics

The Santa Barbara Straw Ban was enacted after city council voted 6-1 to ban the use of plastic straws, stirrers and other cutlery items, earlier this month.  This Santa Barbara Straw Ban was the second attempt to enforce a plastics ban across the city. The first Santa Barbara Straw Ban was a failure, due to criminal implications of violating the law.  After a barrage of criticism from national media outlets, the city removed the potential misdemeanor penalty associated with violations of the law. “We removed all of the criminal language from the ordinance,” said Environmental Services Manager Rene Eyerly.  The Santa Barbara straw ban is scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1.

The move comes after AB 1884, statewide legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, which mandates business owners to provide plastic straws on a demand-only basis at full-service restaurants.  A half step towards a full blow ban against straws.

The Santa Barbara Straw Ban is following the lead of nine other cities in California, including Santa Monica, Malibu and Manhattan Beach, that have banned single-use plastic straws or have made them on-demand only. The ordinance will help the city meet its stormwater compliance requirements.

The council in August first voted to ban the plastic straws, but delayed a final vote until Tuesday so that it could take a closer look at the ordinance. Restaurants that provided the plastic straws would be subject to a warning notice followed by a possible administrative penalty of “$100 or $250.

Councilman Randy Rowse voted against the ordinance. He said that the city doesn’t need a law to force people not to use plastic straws. He said the city passed a no-smoking ban on the beach and people can still find cigarette butts on the beach.   He added that most people already agree that single-use plastic straws are not necessary so there’s no need to ban them.  For more information on other straw bans, click here.