July 28 - Humboldt County Considers Grocery Bag Ordinance

Last week the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted to begin work on a single-use bag ordinance for grocery, drug, and convenience stores in its unincorporated areas.

According to media reports, the ordinance will be similar to the proposed statewide bill, SB 270, to ban single-use plastic grocery bags, although there may be some differences in the charge on allowed bags.

The state bill specifies a ten cent minimum charge per paper or reusable bag. This amount is also specified in many of the 113 local ordinances across the state, including in LA County which reported an initial 95% reduction of all single-use bags and a 30% reduction in paper bags after the first year of its ban.

Ten cents is the average price for distributors to purchase paper bags. The charge is intended to both disincentivize single-use bag waste, and also to help offset the higher cost of supplying paper bags instead of plastic bags (which on average can cost between 1 and 3 cents each).

Currently, Arcata is the only city in the county with a bag ban, adopted earlier this year. The Arcata ordinance includes a minimum ten cent charge per paper bag.

Want to support the statewide bag ban? Spend a few minutes to send a note to your State Assembly Member here.