Dec 14 - Sunnyvale Adopts Bag Ban, LA and Alameda Co Move Forward

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More good news on plastic bag bans—Sunnyvale officially adopted its bag ordinance at a meeting yesterday evening (#16 in the state to accomplish this! See the full list here), while the Alameda County Waste Management Authority (Stopwaste.org) Board is scheduled to approve a first reading of its countywide bag ordinance this afternoon.

Down south, the Los Angeles City Council held a public hearing on a proposed bag ordinance today, and an LA City Council Committee is set to further discuss the measure this Friday before it’s brought back to the full Council.

City of Los Angeles

Today’s hearing in front of the Los Angeles City Council included testimony from environmental groups, concerned citizens on both sides of the issue, and employees from Crown Poly, a local company which according to public testimony makes 7 other products besides single-use carryout bags. Although concerns were expressed about the ban causing job cuts at Crown Poly, another commenter noted that single-use plastic bags constitute less than 8% of the company’s production output.

A statement from Assemblymember Julia Brownley, author of last year’s statewide bag ban, AB 1998, noted that the bill failed at the eleventh hour because it was "hit by an avalanche of cash from the American Chemistry Council…but they know that the fight on a statewide ban is far from over." Assemblymember Brownley urged cities and counties to take up the fight at the local level in the absence of a statewide solution.

Take action by sending in letters to the LA City Energy and Environment Committee by this Friday, or to the entire City Council.

City of Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale's bag ordinance bans single-use plastic bags and places an initial 10 cent minimum price requirement on paper bags. Starting June 20, 2012, the ordinance would apply to larger grocery and convenience stores and retailers, and expand to cover all retailers by March 2013. See a copy of the Sunnyvale ordinance here.

Alameda County

Stopwaste.org’s proposed bag ordinance would ban single-use plastic bags and place a 10 cent minimum price requirement on reusable bags and paper bags. It applies to all 14 cities within the county as well as unincorporated Alameda County, with an opt-out option for jurisdictions. If passed, the ordinance becomes effective on January 1, 2013. The minimum price requirement would increase to 25 cents on January 1, 2015. A final reading and adoption of the ordinance will be held on January 25, 2012.

Take action and let the Stopwaste.org Board hear your supportive comments.