Pleasant Hill, California, July 7, 2014 (PBBR) - At a regular City Council meeting tonight, the City of Pleasant Hill voted to enact an ordinance prohibiting the distribution of plastic shopping bags by merchants in the city.
The new ordinance will become effective in six months at all retailers including grocery stores, pharmacies, department stores and restaurants. The ordinance states, "No retail establishment or public eating establishment shall provide to a customer a single-use carryout plastic bag.
The new law further provides that merchants must provide or make available to a customer only recycled paper carryout bags or a reusable bag for the purpose of carrying away goods from the point of sale. Merchants must charge a fee of a minimum of ten cents for every bag provided to the customer.
Customers who are exempt from the ten cents fee include participants in the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children. Under this exemption, merchants may provide one or more recycled paper bag(s) or reusable bag(s) at no cost to participants in these programs.
It is important to note that under this ordinance, a shopper may use any type of carryout bag that is brought with her/him to the store, regardless of what material the bag is made of. Shoppers can avoid the fee by bringing the carryout bag with them.
Pleasant Hill joins several other cities in Contra Costa County to ban single-use plastic carryout bags. Other cities in the County that have implemented an ordinance regulating single-use bags are Martinez, Richmond, San Pablo, El Cerrito and Walnut Creek.
Learn more about Pleasant Hill's plastic bag ban at the city's website.
Cover photo: "Pleasant Hill CA City Hall" by Danstone360 - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pleasant_Hill_CA_City_Hall.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Pleasant_Hill_CA_City_Hall.jpg