At its regular meeting on November 1st, 2011, the City Council of Monterey, California passed an ordinance to print to ban the use of plastic single-use carry-out bags. Passed unanimously, the ordinance also prohibits the free distribution of recycled paper bags by retailers.
The ordinance is intended to:
- Eliminate the common use of Plastic Single-Use Carryout Bags;
- Establish a fee for paper bags, initially ten cents per bag;
- Encourage the use of reusable bags by consumers and retailers.
The ordinance excludes bags without handles, such as bags used to carry produce or meats to check-out in a grocery store or pharmacy bags used to carry a prescription medication. The ordinance will not apply to restaurants or customers participating in the Supplemental Food Program.
The fee of ten cents that is collected for recyclable paper bags will remain with the merchant. The City of Monterey will derive no revenue from the collection of the fees. The City estimates that the ordinance will decrease paper bag usage by a little over 55% and will eliminate 2.8 million plastic bags annually.
The ordinance will take effect May 1st, 2012.
Located on Monterey Bay, Monterey is a coastal California city with around 30,000 citizens. During the summer months, that number will more than double.
Photo: "Monterey Wharf & Harbor. Credit: Wikipedia"