Boulder City Council approved an amended bag ordinance during a third reading yesterday with a 7-1 vote.
However, because of additional changes made on Thursday evening, the ordinance must return for a fourth vote on November 15.
The ordinance originally charged 20 cents per plastic or paper bag. It was later amended to a 10 cent charge. Due to the decreased bag charge, yesterday's changes adjusted the percentage that retailers get to keep in order to help them offset implementation and distribution costs, from 20% (4 cents under the old charge and 2 cents under the new charge) to 40% (4 cents).
The remaining revenue would go to the City for reusable bag giveaways.
According to an article on the Huffington Post, Council Member George Karakehian, the only council member who voted against the ordinance, would support a plastic bag ban but not the charge.
Both bag bans and bag charges have been proven effective in reducing distribution numbers. Los Angeles County’s plastic bag ban with a 10 cent charge on paper bags recently reported a 95% reduction of all single-use bags, and a five cent bag charge in Washington DC dropped bag distribution from an estimated 22.5 million to 3.3 million in the first month alone.
We commend the City for addressing the issue of plastic bag pollution. However, if the City decides to consider a plastic bag ban, we hope they will pair it with a paper bag charge to discourage all single-use bag waste.