As of January 1st, 2013, packaged food retailers will be prohibited from distributing single-use plastic carryout bags in Alameda County, California. The Alameda County Waste Management Authority (ACWMA) adopted the Single-Use Bag Reduction Ordinance on January 25th. The ordinance bans single-use plastic bags at check out at retailers throughout the county that sell packaged food.
The purpose of the single-use bag ordinance is to reduce the number of bags going into the local landfill. The ordinance will also decrease the problems caused by plastic bags at recycling processing centers and county landfills.
Affecting some 1900 retailers in the county, merchants will be allowed to provide recycled content paper bags for a fee of ten cents. Reusable bags will be allowed only if the retailer charges a minimum of ten cents for each bag.
ACWMA completed an Environmental Impact Review in October of last year and presented the draft ordinance to the board in December. The Single-Use Bag Reduction Ordinance is the first countywide plastic bag ordinance in the Bay Area.(1)
Alameda County is located in the San Francisco Bay area and the west side of the county borders San Francisco Bay. The city of Berkeley is in Alameda County along with UC Berkeley, a campus of the University of California system.(2)
Learn more details about the plastic bag ban at StopWaste.org.
(1) Save the Bay
Photo: The City of Berkeley and the Bay at Night. Credit: Wikipedia