Silicon Valley Cities Plan Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance

Silicon Valley Cities Plan Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance

24 Cities Join To Ban Bags | Plastic Bag Ban Report
Menlo Park, CA – Menlo Park and 24 other cities in the Silicon Valley have joined San Mateo County’s effort to begin the process of regulating single use carryout bags at retail establishments.

San Mateo County Government Center. Author: Coolcaesar at en.wikipedia

The policy aims to encourage the use of reusable bags for shopping by prohibiting plastic bags, and charging consumers a minimum fee for using paper bags. The proposed ordinance would apply to all retailers, not just grocery stores. However, it would not apply to restaurants or bags distributed to protect products such as prescription medication or produce.

The San Mateo County Health System is supporting the proposal, stating "We Think it's Time to Bag the Bag".

With 18 of the cities in San Mateo County and 6 in Santa Clara County, the 24 California cities are: Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Campbell, Colma, Cupertino, Daly City, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Milpitas, Mountain View, Pacifica, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco, and Woodside.

Landfills or Litter
20 billion single-use plastic grocery bags are used every year in California, and most end up in landfills, or as litter on land and in water. City of Menlo Park Environmental Programs Manager, Rebecca Fotu, said today that “letting go of our bag habits won’t be easy, but it is a crucial step toward creating a more sustainable community.”

The County of San Mateo is assisting Menlo Park and other participating cities in making an informed decision by preparing an Environmental Impact Report(EIR) to address the impacts a single-use carryout bag regulation would have on the environment.

As required by State CEQA Guidelines, the County of San Mateo's NOTICE OF PREPARATION OF A DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT for the COUNTY OF SAN MATEO SINGLE USE BAG BAN ORDINANCE has been posted for a 30-day review period.

Regional Meetings
A series of regional meetings will be held throughout San Mateo and Santa Clara counties to gather input that will assist in focusing the EIR on environmental issues that concern the public and businesses.

According to Ms. Fotu, “Menlo Park residents and businesses are welcome and encouraged to attend one (or more) of the community meetings to learn about the process, and provide input on how regulating single use bags impact the environment before the ordinance is considered.”

Community Meetings Schedule
April 18, 2012, 6:00 P.M.: Ted Adcock Community Center/Senior Center Sun Room, 535 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay, CA
April 19, 2012, 5:30 P.M.: San Mateo Public Library, Oak Room, 55 West Third Ave, San Mateo, CA
April 25, 2012, 6:00 P.M.: City Council Chambers, 500 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA
April 26, 2012, 6:00 P.M.: Municipal Services Building, 33 Arroyo Drive, South San Francisco, CA
May 2, 2012, 6:00 P.M.: Campbell Library, 77 Harrison Avenue, Campbell, CA
May 3, 2012, 2:00 P.M.: Barbara Lee Senior Center, 40 North Milpitas Blvd, Room 140, Milpitas, CA
May 3, 2012, 6:00 P.M.: Redwood City Library, 1044 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA

For more information about the regional meetings, you may call (650) 330-6740 or email Rebecca Fotu at or Lina Prada-Báez at

Cover photo: Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay, California. Author: Robert E. Nylund.

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