Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday advanced a proposal to ban plastic bags now given out to shoppers at grocery and other retail stores, but called for a single ordinance that would apply countywide. The ban would start in July 2013 and apply to what are termed ‘single-use carryout bags.’ It would not extend to bags used to hold meat and vegetables, or apply to restaurants. It also would levy a 10-cent fee for paper bags, which merchants would collect and keep. That fee would rise to 25 cents a bag in 2014.
Sonoma County has taken a big step toward a countywide ban on plastic carryout bags to reduce landfill waste and litter. The county Waste Management Agency authorized its staff Wednesday to request proposals from consultants for environmental review of the proposed ban. Under the draft ordinance, all ‘retail establishments’ would be prohibited from providing ‘single-use carryout bags’ bags as of July 1, 2013.
Santa Rosa supports a countywide ban on single-use plastic bags, with a twist. While many of the eight other cities in Sonoma County support a single ordinance covering the entire county, Santa Rosa officials said Tuesday they’d like to maintain a measure of local control.
Forums held throughout Sonoma County on a proposal to ban plastic bags drew few participants, but those who did attend voiced near unanimous support. Only 75 people attended nine meetings held in each of Sonoma County’s cities in March. Of those, 70 people voiced support and five spoke in opposition.
Sonoma County waste management officials are advancing a countywide push to ban carry-out plastic bags. Last year, the county Board of Supervisors and seven of the county’s nine cities supported the effort. The two remaining cities, Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park, have indicated they might join in.
Support for a countywide ban on carry-out grocery plastic bags continued to grow this week as two more cities and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors endorsed the concept. Seven of the county’s nine cities and the county now have agreed to take steps toward a countywide ordinance limiting single-use bags under a proposal from the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency.
A proposed county-wide ban on carry-out plastic bags gained a little more traction this week as Windsor became the second city in Sonoma County to endorse the idea. The council unanimously agreed that discontinuing use of the plastic bags, which are ubiquitous at grocery stores, is good for the environment and reducing litter.