Monday, September 30, 2013

Two more San Mateo cities ban plastic bags, Redwood City and East Palo Alto

The Daily Journal (San Mateo) Michelle Durand, 9/30/13.  "Redwood City ready to ban plastic bags."

"Starting Tuesday, Redwood City joins numerous other Peninsula cities in putting the kibosh on free single-use plastic and paper bags at most retail establishments. Unlike the 12 cities and county that launched the ban in April to coincide with Earth Day, Redwood City pushed off its start date until October to allow businesses and patrons more time to prepare for the change. On its heels, East Palo Alto’s ban takes effect Wednesday, Oct. 2. 
The fee is meant to act as an incentive against purchasing bags and help businesses recoup any costs associated with the mandated record keeping of bag sales. The fee also covers the cost of retailers advertising and purchasing pricier paper bags for sale. Paper can run 8 cents to 15 cents each which is the main reasons businesses turned to the much cheaper plastic option, Peterson said.

The environmental impact report conducted prior to the vote concluded that an estimated 400 million single-use plastic bags are used annually in San Mateo County included approximately 42 million in Redwood City. Only a small percentage are recycled and the majority end up in landfills or as litter, according to the EIR. 

All of the ordinances are modeled on the county’s template which was crafted after a lengthy environmental review process meant to head off any legal challenge. Prohibitions are already in place in San Mateo County and the cities of Burlingame, Daly City, Colma, Brisbane, South San Francisco, San Bruno, San Mateo, San Carlos, Pacifica, Portola Valley, Half Moon Bay, Foster City, Belmont and Menlo Park. Millbrae passed its own ordinance."  Read article. 

Related San Mateo Mercury News/Peninsula/Bonnie Eslinger (Staff), 9/30/13.  "Under the bans, modeled after a San Mateo County ordinance, customers can still get paper bags for at least 10 cents each. Plastic carryout bags are permitted as well, so long as their thickness is at least 2.25 mil, which is considered reusable. They too come with a dime charge. The ban applies to grocery and convenience stores, pharmacies and other shops, but not to restaurants. Plastic bags can still be used for produce, meats, bulk foods and prescription medicines." 

Note:  Plastic bag picture from Wikimedia Commons.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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