The second phase of the Santa Barbara plastic bag ban goes into effect Friday and will now include small businesses like mini-marts.
Since May, larger supermarkets and pharmacies had to get rid of the plastic.
At the 7-Eleven on Cliff Drive, there is just one box left of plastic bags.
Nayuribe Podratz, the owner, has been planning for months to make sure she won’t have any extra when the bag ban takes effect.
“I knew it was coming, so I tried to order less plastic bags,” she said.
Podratz’ customers are getting used to the idea of having to bring their own reusable bag or buy a paper one for 10 cents.
“I’m good with it. I think it’s a good idea for the environment. I just like it,” said Jim Marshall.
Next door at the Fuel Depot, the owner is also ready for the second phase of the ban.
“We’ve prepared by eliminating our stock of plastic bags and are implementing the new recyclable brown bags,” said Matt Edick, the Fuel Depot owner.
Edick has just two rolls of plastic bags left. Starting Friday, he will offer customers two sizes of paper if they need one.
Kathi King with the Community Environmental Council is glad to see that the stores are ready for the change.
“It’s amazing the multiplier affect. You know Santa Barbara was distributing more than 40 million bags a year just in our small city and now that’s going to go down to fewer than 5 million,” she said.
Podratz said it might take people awhile to remember that convenience stores are now included in the ban, but she likes that plastic will mostly be eliminated from her store.
“I’m trying to get used to it myself. Sometimes I get to the grocery store and say, ‘Yes, the bags.’ I keep forgetting. But you get used to it,” she said.
Santa Barbara isn’t the only city with a ban in place; 129 local governments have already passed plastic bag ordinances.
Starting in July, all of the Golden State will have to participate as well.