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Walnut Creek Passes Ban on Plastic Bags

Walnut Creek follows more than 90 cities and counties statewide that have implemented a plastic bag ban.

By Bay City News—

Walnut Creek will be one of the next Bay Area cities to say goodbye to plastic bags.

The City Council voted 4-1 on Tuesday night to ban single-use carryout plastic bags at all retail stores and restaurants.
 
Customers will instead have the option of paying 10 to 25 cents for a paper bag or bringing their own reusable bags to shop. Walnut Creek follows more than 90 cities and counties statewide that have implemented a plastic bag ban, including Contra Costa County cities such as Richmond and El Cerrito.
 
The ban will take effect for all stores in September and for all restaurants citywide in December. City leaders first considered the idea of a plastic bag ban in 2010 and in October the City Council called on city staff to draft an ordinance prohibiting retailers from distributing plastic bags. The idea was initially discussed after it was learned that plastic bags were a leading source of pollution in the city's streets and creek beds.
 
Retailers who do not comply with the ordinance may be fined $100 for a first violation, $200 for a second violation and $500 for a third and all following violations. A few people voiced their opposition to the ban on Tuesday night, saying it will unduly burden residents.
 
But Rinta Perkins, who manages the city's Clean Water Program, said Tuesday that the "challenges are outweighed by the benefits of reducing litter and cleanup costs paid by taxpayers, preserving wildlife and protecting human health."
 
She also cited a survey among San Jose business owners and residents showing that 98 percent of that city's retailers have complied with the plastic bag ban enacted in 2012 and that the law drastically reduced plastic bag litter citywide.

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Ken March 06, 2014 at 02:51 PM
Another potential issue are plastic bags used for canine maintenance....open space, parks, schools. Will I now have to step lightly?
mikedude March 06, 2014 at 09:16 PM
If you want to ban plastic bags, fine. It won't do a damn thing about 'climate change' and it isn't going to save the city a cent in 'cleanup costs' but whatever, pat yourselves on the back for passing useless, feel-good legislation. What I don't understand is why must I be forced to pay 10 to 25 cents per paper bag? These cost the retailer next to nothing and are just going to be another way for them to make money. Even if they aren't already made of recycled paper, they'll be recycled or composted after they're used. Isn't that pretty damn 'green'???Why must I be punished for every item that I buy in Walnut Creek?
Julie Jepsen-Grant March 07, 2014 at 08:10 AM
Has anyone ever noticed all the plastic baggies left behind at Heather Farm Park? Not shopping bag plastic, but the kind you would use to pack a sandwich.
Bob Brittain March 07, 2014 at 11:55 PM
When I "notice" trash I pick it up and put it in a trash can.

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