The Town of Danville, CA introduced and unanimously approved a plastic bag ban in all retail stores and restaurants on Tuesday evening. The town, with a population of roughly 42,000, is located in Contra Costa County, across the bay and just 30 miles east of San Francisco.
While San Francisco passed the first plastic bag ban in the state and nation in 2007, Danville could potentially be one of the last local bag ordinances adopted in California thanks to the recent passage of SB 270, the statewide bag ban.
SB 270 creates a uniform solution to plastic bag litter by banning single-use plastic bags in grocery, drug and convenience stores and putting a 10 cent charge on paper and reusable bags to disincentivize waste. The law grandfathers in the 100+ local ordinances already adopted throughout the state, and allows an extension until the end of the year for some local jurisdictions, such as Danville, to adopt their own ordinance. Danville had passed a resolution on plastic bags prior to the deadline set by SB 270. Under SB 270, local governments cannot pass their own ordinances after September 1, 2014 unless they meet extension requirements. Other local jurisdictions, including the City of Sacramento and Santa Barbara County, support bag bans but halted their own local efforts once the state bill gained momentum.
Staff worked with the community, including small local businesses, prior to bringing the ordinance to the council. Council members cited plastic bag impacts on the recycling process as one of the reasons to address the issue.
A final reading and adoption of the Danville bag ordinance is expected December 16, 2014. The plastic bag ban would go into effect on July 1, 2016.
Learn more about the industry's efforts to repeal SB 270 through a well-funded referendum, and report any signature gatherers here.