Palm Springs, California, March 31, 2014 (PBBR) - After a year of study, research and discussion, the City Council of Palm Springs unanimously adopted an ordinance on March 19th that will prohibit merchants from supplying single-use plastic carryout bags of any type to customers.
The law will also mandate that retailers charge a ten cents fee for a recyclable paper bag that is provided to the customer. Each store must make reusable bags available. Also, and very importantly, a customer can avoid the fee altogether by bringing their own bag of any type material to use to transport their purchases.
Palm Springs City Staff helped devise a model ordinance that has been adopted by the Coachella Valley Association of Governments. This model ordinance makes it easy for other cities in the Coachella Valley to adopt a plastic bag ordinance and provides uniformity for shoppers in each city. This model ordinance was just adopted by the City of Desert Hot Springs.
Palm Springs' Sustainability Commission has made presentations to neighborhood groups and local businesses as part of the outreach effort. Also, as part of the outreach, the city's Green Business Partnership Program will provide $500 per business as an initial incentive to transition from single-use plastic bags. This type incentive is unique and typically not seen in plastic bag ban ordinances.
Palm Springs, located in Riverside County, is another inland, non-coastal city to adopt plastic bag regulations. The ordinance will take effect in six months for larger stores and one year for smaller stores to allow for a smoother transition.
Cover photo: Coachella Valley, CA. Author: Matthew Trump. Licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)