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Posted on: March 4, 2019

The Use of Plastic Sandbags Is Prohibited in Malibu City Limits

Plastic Sandbag Ban

The use of plastic sandbags is banned in the City of Malibu under an ordinance passed May 8, 2017 in order to protect the environment from plastic pollution. When several heavy storm systems came through the area immediately following the devastating Woolsey Fire, the plastic sandbag ban was temporarily lifted, as is allowed under the ordinance. There was an immediate increased need for sandbags to enable residents to protect their homes from flooding, mud or debris flows, especially in the burn area. Since those emergency conditions have passed, the plastic sandbag ban has been restored and is in effect. Burlap or jute sandbags can provide the same erosion and flooding protection as plastic sandbags, but do not have the same environmental impact. Plastic sandbags do not readily degrade and can release plastic pollution into the environment. The City Manager sent a letter on Feb. 26, 2019 to Caltrans, LA County Public Works and Fire Departments, Southern California Gas Company, Southern California Edison, and other partner agencies notifying them that plastic sandbags may no longer be used or distributed within the City limits, and any inventories of plastic sandbags should be removed from their Malibu locations. For more information on the sandbag ordinance, visit the information page. If you see plastic sandbags being used or distributed, or see remnants of plastic sandbags that were previously used, please call City Hall at 310-456-2489. 

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