Palo Alto ban on plastic bags could expand
Palo Alto’s pioneering ban on plastic bags could soon be expanded to include restaurants and a charge on paper bags.
The adidas football boots city council is scheduled to review a new ordinance Monday that would prohibit all retailers from using plastic bags. It comes more than three years after the city restricted grocery stores from using plastic bags.
Since then, roughly 65 cities and counties throughout California have adopted similar ordinances. Most of them now include charges for paper bags that range from 10 cents to 25 cents.
Scheduled to take effect on July 1, the new ordinance would require retailers to charge 10 cents per bag. The fee would rise to 25 cents a year later. Food service establishments, meanwhile, would not have to charge for paper bags but would be barred from using plastic bags.
According to a city staff report, the expanded ban will keep more plastic bags from ending up as litter. In 2012, roughly 350 bags were found in the city’s creeks and streets during a combination of two creek cleanup efforts and an informal “bag sighting” survey by staf adidas football boots f volunteers.
The charge on paper bags is also expected to increase the use of reusable bags. Communities such as the District of Columbia, adidas football boots Los Angeles County and San Jose have seen a 62 to 94 percent conversion rate depending on the charge and the economic demographics of the region.
In addition to the tougher ordinance, the city council is scheduled to review a related environmental impact report. As part of a settlement with Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, the city was allowed to enact its original ordinance but was required to study the impacts of additional bans.
Bill Leikam, a 40 year resident of the city and a gray fox researcher, urged the city council in an email to adopt the expanded ordinance. He said foxes end up consuming plastic bags when adidas football boots they raid large trash bins for discarded food.
“I think it wise policy to pass the Palo Alto Disposable Bag Ordinance, not only to keep our cityscape free of these bags, but the local wild animal population will thank you for passing it, too,” Leikam said.
While the city council received numerous emails like Leikam’s voicing support for the new restrictions, some residents disagreed with the move.
“Palo Altans are very litter conscious. We reuse these (plastic) bags to line trashcans, collect dog and cat poop, or simply to tote leaky or wet things about. With this proposal, we now must buy commercially available and sadly non biodegradable bags for these purposes,” Stepheny McGraw said. in the council chambers of City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave.