While Santa Monica's has been in effect since March 3, a month from Monday, it will begin to be enforced. The ban applies to grocery stores, convenience stores, mini-marts, liquor stores and pharmacies.
Starting Sept. 1, businesses that continue distributing plastic bags to consumers at point of purchase will face a potential $250 fine if they are charged with an infraction, or a $1,000 or up to six months in jail if they are charged with a misdemeanor.
There are some exceptions. Restaurants will still be able to provide plastic bags for certain types of take-home food, for example, due to health concerns. Also, you'll still be able to use plastic bags in the produce sections of grocery stores.
Nonetheless, Santa Monica is facing a big transition on Sept. 1—also because, on that same day, businesses will be forced to charge at least 10 cents per paper bag, should consumers opt for them at point of purchase.
The goal of the plastic-bag ban and paper-bag fee is to persuade Santa Monica residents to rely on reusable bags instead. Some other cities that have instituted similar prohibitions and/or fees—San Francisco, Washington, D.C.—have seen major declines in the usage of single-use bags. As of July 14, 39 cities and counties in the U.S., including 12 in California, have banned plastic bags.
With Sept. 1 only 33 days away, how are you preparing for the enforcement of Santa Monica's plastic-bag ban? Are you buying reusable bags? Do you have enough already? Are you loading up on plastic bags while they're still available? Are you taking home more paper bags before businesses start charging for them?
Please share your thoughts in the comments box below, so your Santa Monica neighbors can hear how you're gearing up for the transition.
Correction: "a week from Monday" has been changed to "a month from Monday."