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Sonoma County BANS Plastic Bags starting March 21, 2014

SONOMA COUNTY GAZETTE

The Board of Directors of the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency, a Joint Powers Authority composed of the Cities of Cloverdale, Cotati, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, and Sonoma; the Town of Windsor; and the County of Sonoma, voted unanimously today to adopt an ordinance to reduce carryout bag waste throughout Sonoma County.

“This ordinance will cause a dramatic decrease in the estimated 258 million plastic carryout bags used throughout Sonoma County annually,” said Henry Mikus, Executive Director of the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency.  The ordinance is effective on March 21, 2014, and retailers are encouraged to phase out their existing stock of plastic carryout bags as soon as possible, but enforcement will not begin until September 1, 2014.  The ordinance will be effective countywide unless a member jurisdiction formally opts out of the ordinance.

This carryout bag waste reduction ordinance prohibits retail establishments (excluding public eating establishments and nonprofit charitable reusers, as defined by the ordinance) from providing customers with plastic carryout bags at the point of sale or other departure point. 

Bags exempt from this ordinance include plastic bags without handles

(1) to transport produce, bulk food or meat from a produce, bulk food or meat department within a store to the point of sale;

(2) bags used to hold prescription medication dispensed from a pharmacy; or

(3) bags used to segregate food or merchandise that could damage or contaminate other food or merchandise when placed together in a reusable or recycled paper bag. 

Paper bags made of at least 40% post consumer recycled content may be provided to customers for a minimum charge of $0.10 per bag.  Reusable bags, as defined by the Ordinance, may also be provided to customers. 

Retail establishments will be required to maintain accurate records of the number of recycled-content paper bags purchased and sold for a minimum of three years.  Violation of the carryout bag waste reduction ordinance would be an infraction, subject to fine, as defined by the administrative penalties ordinance.

Please visit http://www.recyclenow.org/reduce/carryout_bag_reduction.asp for more information.

via Sonoma County BANS Plastic Bags starting March 21, 2014.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Countywide plastic bag ban could be in place in March

Countywide plastic bag ban could be in place in March

Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

For Sonoma County shoppers, the days of choosing between between paper and plastic bags at checkout lines are officially coming to an end.

On Wednesday, a long delayed move to ban carryout plastic bags at most retail outlets countywide cleared the first of two formal votes, setting in motion steps to implement the new regulation by mid-March.

Supporters hailed the progress after three years of planning, studies and setbacks, including a sticking point raised by the city of Santa Rosa last year that threatened to sink the whole proposal.

via Countywide plastic bag ban could be in place in March | The Press Democrat.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on As Sonoma County mulls plastic bag ban,court upholds SF ban law

As Sonoma County mulls plastic bag ban,court upholds SF ban law

Cody Kitaura (Editor), SONOMA VALLEY PATCH

A state appeals court has upheld a San Francisco law banning the use of non-compostable plastic bags at checkout stands in retail stores and grocery markets.

The 2012 law, an expansion of an earlier measure, prohibits most single-use plastic checkout bags and requires stores to charge 10 cents for paper or compostable plastic bags.

The ordinance was upheld Tuesday by a three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeal in San Francisco. The court ruled on a challenge by the Los-Angeles-based Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, a manufacturers’ association that has been battling plastic bag laws around the state.

Among other arguments, the coalition claims paper bags are a greater burden to the environment than their plastic counterparts.

Supporters of the bans contend the laws reduce litter, waste, pollution of waterways and harm to wildlife.

via As Sonoma County Mulls Plastic Bag Ban, Court Upholds SF Ban Law – Government – Sonoma Valley, CA Patch.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Petaluma backs changes to support plastic bag ban

Petaluma backs changes to support plastic bag ban

Lori A. Carter, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Petaluma City Council members Monday night unanimously endorsed changes to a regional waste management agreement that would allow for the creation of a countywide ban on single-use plastic bags.

The amendments to the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency joint powers agreement would also give members — each city and the county — the flexibility to adopt their own ordinance with county enforcement or local control.

Any major amendments to the two-decades-old regional agreement must be approved by all members. Healdsburg, Sonoma, Sebastopol, Windsor and Cotati have approved the change. Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, Rohnert Park and Cloverdale are set to consider the issue in the next two months.

The council will vote on a formal resolution to the changes in January. An ordinance actually regulating plastic bags would come later.

via Petaluma backs changes to support plastic bag ban | The Press Democrat.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Time has come to ban plastic bags

Time has come to ban plastic bags

Editorial, PETALUMA ARGUS-COURIER

“Paper or plastic?” It’s a question we hear from clerks just about anytime we go shopping. But before long, that question should change to “Did you bring a reusable bag?”

Based on indisputable evidence showing that the proliferation of single-use plastic bags is doing substantial harm to the environment, city and county officials are finally poised to approve a countywide ban on carryout plastic bags at grocers and retailers.

It’s been several years since the county first began to explore enacting such a ban, so it’s high time for action on the proposal.

via Petaluma360.com | Petaluma Argus-Courier | Petaluma, CA.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags Leave a comment on Sonoma County supervisors support plastic bag ban

Sonoma County supervisors support plastic bag ban

Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday gave its formal support to an ordinance that would ban carryout plastic bags at checkout lines countywide and add a 10-cent fee for each paper bag

The 4-1 vote, with Supervisor David Rabbitt dissenting, constitutes the county’s direction to its appointee on the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency, the joint county-city body that has been studying and developing the ban for two years and would adopt and enforce the ordinance.

via Sonoma County supervisors support plastic bag ban | PressDemocrat.com.

DECISION TIME

Plastic bag ban decisions by cities:

Rohnert Park: Tuesday

Healdsburg: July 1

Petaluma: July 1

Santa Rosa: July 16

Cotati: July, date unscheduled

Cloverdale: July, date unscheduled

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Sonoma County Board of Supervisors advance plastic bag ban

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors advance plastic bag ban

by Jeremy Hay, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday moved forward with a countrywide ban on plastic bags now given out at grocery stores.The ban would apply to grocery stores but not restaurants or bags used for meat and vegetables. The ordinance, which is still being fine-tuned to address questions about enforcement mechanisms and authority, would also levy a 10-cent charge on paper bags. That money would be collected by and go to the grocers.
via Sonoma County Board of Supervisors advance plastic bag ban | Petaluma360.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Sonoma County Waste Management Agency OKs review of proposed plastic bag ban

Sonoma County Waste Management Agency OKs review of proposed plastic bag ban

by Martin Espinoza, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
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.
via Sonoma County Waste Management Agency OKs review of proposed plastic bag ban | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Plastic bag ban meetings

Plastic bag ban meetings

Sonoma County Waste Management Agency Holds Stakeholder and Community Feedback Forums on Carryout Bag Reduction Efforts 
March 2, 2012 – The Sonoma County Waste Management Agency (SCWMA) wants your feedback on what is to be done about paper and plastic carryout bags (the bags given for free at the checkout counter). To hear from as many businesses and citizens as possible, the SCWMA is hosting nine public meetings to present what actions are under consideration and to receive feedback.
Outreach Dates and Locations: All Meeting Start at 6 pm
• March 12 – Petaluma Veterans Memorial, 1094 Petaluma Blvd S., Petaluma
• March 13 – Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial, 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa
• March 14 – Sonoma Veterans Memorial, 126 First Street West, Sonoma
• March 19 – Cotati Veterans Memorial, 8505 Park Avenue, Cotati
• March 20 – Cloverdale Veterans Memorial, 205 West First Street Cloverdale
• March 22 – Windsor Community Center, Elsbree Hall, 901 Adele Drive, Windsor
• March 23 – Rohnert Park Community Center, 5401 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park
• March 26 – Villa Chanticleer Annex, 1248 N. Fitch Mountain Road, Healdsburg
• March 27 – Sebastopol Masonic Center, 373 N. Main Street, Sebastopol