San Anselmo's Town Council heard the first reading of a local plastic bag ordinance this past Tuesday, May 27th, 2014. The council voted unanimously to move forward with the ordinance which would prohibit supermarkets, convenience stores, and liquor stores from providing single use plastic carryout bags, and would require a 10 cent charge on recycled paper bags by January 1st, 2015.
Municipalities of Marin County began the rejection of plastic bags in 2008. By 2014, Fairfax, Mill Valley, Novato, Sausalito, and Unincorporated Marin County all adopted plastic bag ordinaces. "We’ve been waiting for this for a long time," say local San Anselmo residents, who hope to follow suit with their own local ordinance.
There was no opposition during Tuesday's meeting, and all public comments were in support. Both the the town’s chamber of commerce and the local business community say they are "on board". In fact, Mayor McInerney notes that the majority of local businesses are already following this. For example, Andronico’s, a popular local grocery store, stopped using plastic bags more than a year ago, and rewards customers with a 5 cent credit for supplying their own reusable bags.
The EIR by the Marin Hazardous and Solid Waste Joint Powers authority even recommends an increase in the 10 cent charge to 25 cents. Public testimonies, and the councilmembers themselves, agreed but recognized the practicality of initially adopting the 10 cent charge. Mayor McInerney justifies this amount with the goal of consistency amongst other Marin cities and towns who adopted a ten cent charge in their ordinances.
This consistency is key, as many voiced their support for SB 270 to create an even playing field regarding single use carryout bags on a state level.
The 2nd reading of the San Anselmo ordinance is to be heard at the next town council meeting June 10th, 2014.