Plastic Bans

The City is committed to developing and implementing policy initiatives that promote local environmental, economic, and sustainability practices. We aim to integrate resource management and conservation with ongoing operations. The City removes these harmful products to protect our surrounding ocean and mountain life while reducing waste in landfills in favor of renewable materials.

Straws, Stirrers, Cutlery

straws ban-01

Beginning June, 1 2018, the City will enforce the prohibition of the use, distribution, and sale of single-use plastic straws, stirrers, and cutlery items in all retail stores and restaurants within Malibu City limits. 

An estimated 500 million plastic straws are used and discarded every day — enough to wrap around the earth 2.5 times per day. In California, “Coastal Cleanup Day” has tracked the amount of trash collected since 1992, and plastic straws and stirrers are the sixth most common item collected. Plastic cutlery is the fifth most common item collected. 

The City is actively working with local businesses to adopt alternatives to plastic, such as paper, bamboo, or sugar cane. Malibu City Ordinance No. 432 was adopted on February 26, 2018. Learn more about acceptable alternatives in the City's Plastic Free Guideline. In partnership with Lonely Whale, the City designed educational materials including a dolphin poster and a fish poster.

Polystyrene Foam

2018 foam ban-04-04

Since 2005, the City has prohibited the sale or distribution of polystyrene foam food containers and packing materials. Effective January 1, 2017, the City bans the sale or distribution of additional products made, in whole or in part, from polystyrene foam.

The prohibited products include: 

  • Food ware, including cups, plates, clamshells, and other containers 
  • Meat and fish trays, and egg cartons 
  • Packing materials, shipping containers, and “peanuts” when used to package items for storage or sale in Malibu, unless the foam materials were donated or reused
  • Coolers, ice chests or similar containers 
  • Pool or beach toys 
  • Dock floats, mooring buoys, or anchor or navigational markers

The law also requires that packing materials and disposable food ware sold or distributed in Malibu must be compostable or recyclable. MMC Chapter 9.24 was amended on November 28, 2016.

Sand-bag-ban    Plastic Sandbags

The City’s Plastic Sandbag Ban allows for use of biodegradable sandbags that can readily decompose into natural materials in the environment without causing harm. Burlap or jute sandbags do not have the same impact on the environment as plastic-based sandbags or plastic-coated burlap sandbags which do not readily degrade. Burlap sandbags are capable of providing the same erosion and flooding protection provided by polypropylene and other plastic based sandbags. MMC Chapter 9.30 was amended on May 8, 2017.

    Plastic Bagsbag-ban

Recognizing the environmental problems that plastic bags can cause, the City has prohibited the distribution of single-use plastic shopping bags since 2008.

In 2017, the City amended its Plastic Bag Ban to include a Recycled Paper Bags Cost Pass-Through fee. Stores are required to charge a minimum fee to customers when providing a recycled paper bag. The 10 cent charge on paper bags is not subject to State sales tax and will be retained by stores for use in complying with the ordinance. MMC Section 9.28 was amended on March 27, 2017.



  1. Christine Shen

    Environmental Sustainability Analyst
    Phone: 310-456-2489, ext. 376

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