Oct 1 - Bag Ordinances Advance in South Lake Tahoe, Santa Barbara

On the first day of October, two California cities, Santa Barbara and South Lake Tahoe, gave initial approval to bag ordinances while ordinances in several other cities went into effect.

South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is the first city in El Dorado County and the Tahoe region to vote for a plastic bag ordinance. The measure to ban plastic bags in all retail stores will be formally adopted at a second reading, anticipated for October 15. The first stage of the ordinance would roll out in mid-January of 2014.

Also in the Tahoe region, the Town of Truckee is planning to vote on a bag ordinance later this month.

City of Santa Barbara

In Santa Barbara, the City Council held a hearing this afternoon to discuss an appeal of the certification of its Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The appeal was made by the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition (STPBC), the coalition that has sued several other jurisdictions as a stall tactic for bag bans. Stephen Joseph, representing STPBC, argued that an addendum should be added to correct the "misinformation" in the EIR before it was certified.

After discussion and debate, the Santa Barbara City Council ultimately rejected the Coalition's appeal, and unanimously approved the ordinance without further delay. The ordinance, which covers grocery, convenience and drug stores, is expected to be adopted on October 8.

Santa Barbara split the costs of the EIR with other member jurisdictions under BEACON, a joint powers authority covering the Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Others are expected to consider adopting their own ordinances, including the County of Santa Barbara next week, according to media reports.

Plastic bag pollution generates significant environmental and economic impacts to society--creating a visual blight, posing a potential choking and entanglement threat to wildlife, and costing millions in local governmental cleanup and prevention. Learn more about the issue.