This morning, the City of South Lake Tahoe made history and became the first in El Dorado County to adopt a plastic bag ban.
According to the ordinance, the plastic bag ban becomes effective in supermarkets and restaurants on January 15, 2014, and expands to all other retailers by October 15 of next year. While there is no mandatory paper bag charge, the City will monitor the usage of bags and could revisit the issue in the future.
Mayor Tom Davis also discussed supporting Senate Bill 405, a statewide measure to ban plastic bags, which fell just three votes short of passage this past summer.
The City (population of roughly 22,000 people) recognized that reducing plastic bag pollution would be helpful for both the environment and local tourism-based economy. Plastic bag litter also results in costly cleanups for local governments and waste management facilities. South Lake Tahoe is the larger of the two incorporated cities in the county.
South Lake Tahoe's ordinance, indicated by the red dot on the map, is also the first ordinance in the state from a non-coastal county. More than 80 other cities or counties in California have a bag ban, with many others poised to follow. This afternoon, the City of Santa Barbara is scheduled to consider adoption of its bag ordinance. Further inland, the City of Sacramento and Town of Truckee are also close to passing bag bans.