Martinez is looking to join the other 87 California communities that have banned disposable plastic grocery bags, according to yubanet.com. In addition, the city will pursue an ordinance restricting foamed polystyrene foodware.
At its meeting on Wednesday, the Martinez City Council unanimously approved a motion directing staff to draft the ordinances and begin the environmental review process. The ordinances should be brought forward for a vote in 2014.
To date, 31 California communities adopted plastic bag bans in 2013. Half a dozen have adopted foodware bans this year, including San Jose which adopted the largest takeout packaging ordinance in the nation. Local governments, who are primarily responsible for the cleanup of plastic litter in clogged storm water systems and polluted waterways, continue to take action in the absence of a statewide ban. While statewide measures are the best solution, local government action is making a positive impact on plastic pollution and litter in communities.
Courts have continued to uphold the right of local governments to pursue bag ordinances. The California Appellate Court recently refused to review a ruling that upheld Marin County’s bag ban and ordered the plaintiff, Stephen Joseph for the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, to reimburse the county’s court costs.
If you want to help your community pass an ordinance banning disposable plastic grocery bags, check out our Bag Ban Tool Kit.