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“Just one word… plastics”

The Encinitas City Council will create its own local ban on single-use, plastic bags. The vote to pursue the bag ban was 3-2, with Councilwoman Kristin Gaspar and Councilman Mark Muir opposed. Muir and Gaspar said they wanted to wait to see what happens to a bag ban bill that the state Senate is expected to consider in early 2014.

Councilman Tony Kranz said the proposed Senate bill had holes and Encinitas should enact the “more robust” ban used by Solana Beach, saying it bans plastic bags use by clothing retailers as well as grocery merchants.

Encinitas will do this ahead of any California regulations. The environment “can’t wait for the state to get its act together,” Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer declared as she made a motion to direct city staff members to draft a bag ban ordinance. She asked for the ordinance to be similar to one approved by Solana Beach in 2012.

 

Read more at the Union Trib

More than 1.7 billion plastic bags are used throughout the San Diego Region each year. That’s an average of 500 bags per person per year. Made from non-renewable fossil fuels, plastic bags are recyclable – however, studies show that less than 5% are actually recycled. Even when properly disposed, plastic bags are often blown out of trash cans or pulled out by birds and easily carried by the wind to become tangled in vegetation, clog storm drains, or make their way to waterways and the ocean where they become an even greater threat to marine life.

Plastic bags are NOT recyclable through the curbside recycling program. Instead, most major grocery stores provide drop-off containers for used plastic shopping bags. Better yet, consider using reusable shopping bags in lieu of plastic bags that are available at many locations.

The City continues to evaluate ways to decrease the number of bags going to landfills, reduce litter in our local waterways, and save money on litter and storm drain cleanup. The City Council voted to cautiously move forward on the development of a reusable bag ordinance in 2008; this initiative was placed on hold to allow for a full and complete analysis. Since that time education, reusable bag giveaways, and outreach events have taken place.

On April 10, 2013, City Council provided direction to the Environmental Commission to present a full report for a possible reusable bag ordinance elements. This page will be updated as the work program moves forward.

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