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Plastic Bag and Polystyrene (Styrofoam) Ban

Martinez Carryout Plastic Bag Ban


As of January 1, 2015, retail and restaurant establishments are prohibited from distributing single-use plastic bags to customers. The goal of the City’s Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance is to foster sustainable consumer practices by replacing single-use carryout bags with reusable bags.  A $0.10 per bag charge will be placed on carryout bags distributed at retail and restaurant establishments. The ban will help the community meet City litter reduction requirements, and will help to improve the health of the local and greater environment.  Martinez joins more than 90 California cities and counties that have adopted similar single-use plastic bag bans.

Resources: Bag Ban Basics 

List of reusable bag vendors for businesses

Polystyrene Takeout Ban

In 1995, the City of Martinez adopted a ban on Polystyrene takeout food packaging. Full compliance is expected as of January 15, 2015. Aside from being a source of litter, Polystyrene has known negative health impacts associated with the styrene component. According to the US Dept of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), acute health effects caused by styrene include irritation of the skin, eyes, upper respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal system. Chronic exposure can impact the central nervous system, causing symptoms such as depression, headache, fatigue, and weakness, in addition to minor effects on kidney function and blood.  Furthermore, styrene has been classified as a possible human carcinogen by the EPA and International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Resources: Environmentally friendly alternatives to Polystyrene takeout containers

For more information on the Polystyrene takeout container ban or the single-use plastic bag ban, please contact us at