In its efforts to further reduce single-use plastic bag waste, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors approved a first hearing and introduction of an amended ordinance on Tuesday, February 11, to include restaurants in its plastic bag ban. The original ordinance, which went into effect in December 2012, currently covers all retail stores selling perishable or non-perishable goods but not public eating establishments.
According to the Ukiah Daily Journal, restaurants were not originally included due to concerns over litigation. But after the California Appellate Court ruled last December, in the case against San Francisco's ordinance, that the Retail Food Code does not preempt local bag bans in restaurants, the Board voted to include restaurants in its bag ban.
The second reading and adoption of the amendment will be scheduled as early as February 25. Restaurants will not be allowed to give out single-use plastic bags, although they can give out paper bags for free. Other retail stores are required to charge a minimum of 10 cents for each paper bag.
Kudos to the County for expanding its bag ban. About a third of Californians live in a community with a plastic bag ban. Learn more about the proposed bill, SB 270, that would reduce plastic bag litter for the rest of the state.