West Contra Costa County Single-Use Carryout Bag Reduction Ordinance - Update April 2013
RecycleMore developed a single-use bag reduction model ordinance and conducted the CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) review on behalf of the member agencies. Comments on the Draft EIR were received, and responses to those comments were prepared and presented in the final EIR that was issued on March 29, 2013.
At its meeting of April 11, 2013, The RecycleMore Board of Directors voted to certify the findings of the final EIR and a recommendation that the member agencies of El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, San Pablo, Richmond, and the unincorporated County areas covered by JPA agreement utilize the final EIR for their own use as a responsible agency in adopting the model ordinance (or similar to form). Adopting the ordinance would remain with each Member Agency because RecycleMore does not have the power to implement such an ordinance for the region. The model ordinance allows a regional approach so that the ordinance is not significantly different in each jurisdiction.
The model ordinance would ban single use carryout bags at specified retailers in West County, with certain exceptions. Adoption of an ordinance would help meet several goals including reducing the use of single use bags, reducing the amount of single use bags going to landfill, decreasing the plastic bag litter that occurs at landfills, and decreasing the problems caused by plastic bags in recycling processing centers. Adoption of an ordinance will help the member agencies meet storm water permit requirements to reduce trash in storm drains and creeks. It will also help member agencies reduce costs for litter collection. The ordinance would ban all single use carryout bags, with the following exceptions:
• Single use bags provided to transport produce, bulk food or meat from within a store to the point of sale.
• Public eating establishments such as restaurants are exempt.
• Nonprofit charitable reuse organizations are also exempt
• The draft ordinance would allow retail establishments to continue to provide recycled content paper bags at no cost for food purchases paid for by the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Food Program.
Additional provisions of the draft ordinance:
• Recycled content paper bags may be provided but only if the retailer charges a minimum price of $0.05 for each bag.
• Reusable bags (as defined in the ordinance) may also be provided but only if the retailer charges a minimum price of $0.05 for each bag.
• The $0.05 price will go up to $0.10 per single use bag two years after the ordinance implementation date
Members of the above named communities are encouraged to contact their local city hall to find out the latest status on the adoption of the model ordinance in their area.
Questions on the Model Ordinance can be directed to Chris Lehon, Executive Director of RecycleMore, (510) 215-3127.
Visit the link below to read about recent happenings in the quest by local governments in banning single use bags.