At its Monday meeting, in addition to directing city staff to draft an ordinance banning plastic grocery bags, the Ventura City Council also passed a motion supporting a statewide phase out. The ordinance, which will come back to the council next year, will ban disposable plastic grocery bags and place a 10 cent charge on paper bags.
Most of the 15 or so who spoke urged the council to move forward on the most stringent of the proposals, rather than ones that would have limited the ban to stores greater than 10,000 square feet or thrown the city’s weight behind passage of state legislation on the ban (though the council in a second motion voted to also do that).
Brian Brennan, who while on the council introduced the ban with Councilman Carl Morehouse, said after visiting cities including Solana Beach and San Luis Obispo that have the bans in effect, the difference to those communities is "really noticeable."
There are now 90 California communities covered under similar ordinances, and they’re seeing results:
• Los Angeles County’s ordinance has reduced single-use grocery bags by 90%, saving consumers more than $4.8 million this past year alone.
• San Jose reported 59-60% less plastic bag litter in creeks and streams, one year after implementation.
• San Francisco’s most recent street litter audit found an 18% reduction in plastic bags from 2007-2009.
Photo credit: Curtis Cartier
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