At yesterday’s meeting, the San Diego City Council’s Rules and Economic Development Committee unanimously approved a motion to proceed with a single-use plastic bag ordinance.
According to 10news.com, the next step is preparation of an Environmental Impact Report and review of the ordinance language by the city attorney. The ordinance is not expected to come back for review by the full city council until later next year.
"I think everyone here agrees that we should reduce waste, litter and pollution for the sake of our own environment, as well as our quality of life," committee member Mark Kersey said. "This is San Diego, we all love the outdoors. We want clean beaches and bays."
10news.com says Kersey expressed frustration at the piecemeal efforts in California and stated that a statewide bag ban would be a better approach.
A report prepared by the Equinox Center found that plastic bag bans have led to an 40 percent increase in reusable bag use in communities that adopt them, and estimated that a bag ordinance in San Diego would be better for the environment overall than the status quo. The report estimated current bag use in San Diego at 500 million per year and determined that a bag ordinance could reduce that number by 86 percent (nearly 350 million bags).
San Diego (population 1.3 million) is the largest city in California without an adopted bag ban. It is the second largest city by population, after Los Angeles. With single-use plastic bags topping the list of items found on coastal cleanup days, this is clearly a step in the right direction.
See the full list of 87 California communities covered under single-use bag ordinances.