Jan 24 - Alameda County, Millbrae Poised to Ban Plastic Bags

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Several local governments will soon be deciding whether or not to ban single-use plastic bags, but they could use your support.

Millbrae - January 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm

This evening, the City of Millbrae is holding a hearing on an ordinance that bans plastic carryout bags while allowing the sale of reusable and single-use paper bags (10 cent minimum price requirement on paper bags). It’s estimated that 7 million plastic bags are distributed in the city each year. A copy of the ordinance is available here.

The current version of the ordinance was revised and strengthened from an earlier draft to include more stores, which will decrease environmental impacts and economic costs associated with municipal cleanups and litter management. But according to the San Mateo Daily Journal, this may have increased some business opposition to the ordinance.

Thus, your support is greatly needed. Take action and write to the Millbrae City Council in support of this ordinance in just a few short steps by clicking on this link, or find out more about tonight’s hearing at the City Hall (621 Magnolia Avenue, Millbrae, CA) to testify in support.

Alameda County - January 25, 2012 at 3pm

Alameda County Waste Management Authority (StopWaste.org) will have a final vote on a single-use bag ordinance as well as a mandatory recycling ordinance this Wednesday, January 25. The Stopwaste.org Board approved both ordinances during an initial vote last December.

If adopted, the bag ordinance goes into effect at the beginning of 2013 in all 15 jurisdictions within the County: Alameda City, Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro, Union City, and unincorporated areas in Alameda County. This would bring up our total number of Californian communities with single-use bag ordinances to 39!

Under the bag ordinance, reusable bags and single-use bags would still be available for purchase at a minimum price of ten cents each. A copy of the bag ordinance can be found here.

The proposed mandatory recycling ordinance would also go into effect throughout all of Alameda County and divert up to 700,000 tons of recyclable and compostable materials that are being sent to landfills. If passed, the first phase of implementation would start in July of 2012. Read more about the ordinance here.

Write to the Board, thanking them for their unanimous vote on a bag ban in December and urging the final adoption this Wednesday. It takes just minutes and you can personalize your comments. You can also attend the meeting and make a public comment. The meeting starts at 3pm at the Stopwaste.org office (1537 Webster Street, Oakland, CA).

Take action on other single-use bag ordinances here. Still not sure why plastic bags are so bad? Find out more here.