Add one more bag ordinance to the list of California jurisdictions shifting to reusable bags, and expect more to follow.
Earlier today the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors adopted a reusable bag ordinance. Thanks to their initiative and environmental study, 24 other cities in and near the County can also adopt the ordinance by reference without being afraid of litigation or having to spend unnecessary time and money on their own environmental report.
The County approved the ordinance unanimously in October, and adopted the ordinance today on consent. Starting next Earth Day, all retail stores in unincorporated San Mateo County will stop distributing single-use plastic bags and sell only reusable or paper bags. Allowed bags must be sold for ten cents each until 2015, when the charge increases to 25 cents each.
The cities included under the study were:
Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Campbell, Colma, Cupertino, Daly City, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Milpitas, Mountain View, Pacifica, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Woodside
Already, South San Francisco is scheduled to consider adopting the County ordinance by reference on November 14, and others are expected to follow before the end of the year.
Way to go, San Mateo County!
Single-use plastics bags are a costly and easily avoidable blight on our environment and economy. Estimated statewide costs for the cleanup, management, and offsetting costs for plastic bag distribution and pollution are in the hundreds of millions. Learn more about plastic bag pollution.