The Martinez City Council unanimously adopted a comprehensive plastic bag ordinance yesterday, making it the 110th local government in California to formally take action against plastic bag pollution.
Plastic bags cost millions in local government cleanups each year, but local ordinances are a proven way to reduce this impact. In San Jose, the local bag ban reduced plastic bag litter in stormwater systems by 89% after just one year.
The City of Martinez's ordinance, which goes into effect on January 1, 2015, bans single-use plastic grocery bags and places a 10 cent minimum price on paper or reusable bags. Consumers can avoid these charges by going without a bag, or bringing in their own. This would apply in all retail stores and restaurants within city limits.
Martinez has a population of roughly 36,000, and is located in Contra Costa County, just east of the San Francisco Bay. The City was also home to environmentalist and Sierra Club co-founder John Muir before his death in 1914.
Learn more about SB 270, the statewide measure to ban plastic grocery bags. The bill is not expected to be voted upon until mid August.
(photo credit: SF Gate)