Palm Desert retail stores will phase out single-use plastic shopping bags starting in April of next year, with a full bag ban in effect in all stores by October 2015.
On Thursday, the city council adopted the bag ordinance, based on the Coachella Valley Association of Governments model law, at a second reading. Paper bags can be purchased for a minimum of ten cents each.
The mandatory charge will disincentivize waste and help stores offset the higher price of paper bags over plastic.
Plastic grocery bags cost local governments millions in cleanups each year across the state, and are consistently among the top five most commonly found items during annual beach and waterway cleanups.
The city follows Palm Springs, another Coachella Valley jurisdiction, which adopted its bag ban last month. Palm Desert is located in Riverside County, about 120 miles east of Los Angeles.
California residents, the first vote on SB 270 the state bag bill has been scheduled for next Wednesday, May 14 at 11 am. If you haven't written to your Assembly Member yet urging their support of this bill when it comes before them, take action now.