Recycling Reminders

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 27, 2018

Earlier this month, Santa Barbara County launched a PR campaign to remind residents that plastic bags and “film” plastic should not be placed in blue recycling cans, as they are not recyclable. In all jurisdictions across Santa Barbara County, plastic bags and film plastics, such as plastic wrapping, saran wrap, or small plastic pouches, are not recyclable, and are the biggest cause of contaminants in our commingled recycling.

For five-plus years, there have been no markets for plastic bags mixed in with commingled recyclables. Although some large supermarkets can take back reusable plastic bags they give out, they are also limited by what they can recycle by a lack of a market for other types of film plastic.

Plastic bags in the blue residential recycling containers are also problematic because they tangle up with other materials. 

 The County and all of the cities within the county encourage the public to bring reusable bags to the store and utilize durable containers when possible to reduce the amount of waste we produce as a community.

 For more information on reducing, re-using, and recycling your waste, visit


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