Chico, CA, April 1, 2014 (PBBR) - The City Council of Chico, California voted 4-2 to adopt a plastic bag ban at their regular meeting tonight. The ordinance also mandates a ten cents fee on single-use, recyclable paper bags required by customers. Shoppers can avoid the fee by bringing their own bag of any type material.
The law will take effect on January 1, 2015 for larger, full-line grocery stores and January 1, 2016 for convenience stores and stores selling a limited line of groceries.
Several citizens spoke in opposition of the proposed ordinance. Most felt that the City Council should be using their time to deal with other issues.
Chico is home to Chico Bag Company and owner, Andy Keller, also spoke to the Council. Andy spoke of the local benefits of the ordinance. He said the ordinance would benefit his company and several others in the area. Roplast, a reusable plastic bag manufacturer, is also located nearby in Oroville and the ordinance will help create jobs there.
"By doing this, it's going to be creating more jobs in Chico," Andy said. "It changes the question at the register from (paper or plastic?) to (do you need a bag?)." Andy and Chico Bag donated 10,000 reusable bags to the City of San Jose for outreach efforts. Andy said he'd be willing to do the same for the City of Chico if the ordinance was passed.
The new law also requires merchants to keep records of all transactions documenting the purchase and sale of recyclable paper bags and reusable bags. These records must be maintained for one year from the date of the transaction.
Chico is an inland, non-coastal city located approximately 90 miles north of Sacramento in Butte County.
Plastic Bag Ban Report's List of Bans is already updated to include Chico. With the addition of Chico, there are now 166 jurisdictions across the U.S. that have implemented plastic bag regulations of either a ban, a fee, or both.
Cover photo: Chico Square, Chico, California. Author: Travis Thurston. Licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)