Plastic Bag Ban and Reusable Bag Program

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As a Coastal City, the Manhattan Beach community is very concerned about protecting the marine environment. Because plastic bags do not biodegrade in the ocean, they pose a threat to marine animals that mistake the bags for food and can ingest the bags leading to choking, starvation or suffocation. Plastic bags also contribute to the overall amount of plastic debris in the ocean. In fact, marine researchers have found that plastic pieces outweigh surface zooplankton in the North Pacific Central Gyre (an area in the Pacific Ocean where debris becomes trapped by circulating currents) by a factor of 6 to 1. 
Sustainable MB bag

Manhattan Beach Plastic Bag Ordinance
The City of Manhattan Beach encourages you to bring a reusable bag with you every time you shop. By using reusable bags instead of single-use bags you can help to conserve resources, reduce landfill waste, reduce plastic bag litter, and protect the marine environment.

As a first step toward reducing single-bag use, the Manhattan Beach City Council passed an ordinance banning the distribution of plastic bags at the point-of-sale for all retail establishments in Manhattan Beach in July 2008.  After being on hold for a few years due to a lawsuit brought by the "Save the Plastic Bag Coalition," and briefly exempted for restaurants, the Citywide plastic bag Ordinance 14-0004 began implementation on June 15, 2014.

 

 

Reusable Bags, Not Paper or PlasticReusable Bag Cycle

The best alternative to using carry-out plastic bags at the point of purchase is to bring your own reusable bag. We hope that carrying reusable bags will become common place in Manhattan Beach.

For the time being, stores will be able to provide a paper bag to customers at the point of sale for a 10¢ fee. However, reusable bags are preferable for several reasons: they conserve energy and natural resources, reduce the total volume of waste disposed in landfills, and lead to a cleaner and more sustainable marine environment.

Plastic Bag Ban compliance dates:

July 2008 -  The Manhattan Beach City Council passed an ordinance banning the distribution of plastic bags at the point-of-sale for all retail establishments in Manhattan Beach. The ordinance was put on hold due to a lawsuit by the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition

July 14, 2011 - Unanimous California Supreme Court decision upheld the City's plastic bag ordinance

January 14, 2012 - All grocery stores and pharmacies must comply with the ordinance

April 14, 2012 - Enforcement began, following a 3-month transition from the implementation period to give businesses enough time to prepare and purchase recycled content paper bags that meet the ordinance requirements

July 14, 2012 - All other establishments (i.e. retail, other commercial establishments and non-profit vendors) in the City of Manhattan Beach are required to comply with the plastic bag ordinance

May 2, 2014 - Restaurants are once again included in the plastic bag ordinance

June 15, 2014 - Enforcement of the Ordinance began.

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page and the Additional Information page for more information on the plastic bag ordinance. 

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