Plastic bag ban gaining momentum
In April the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council adopted a resolution supporting federal, state, and local ordinances which ban the use of single-use plastic bags. The resolution cited the threat to marine life, the trash in the ocean and on our beaches, and the availability of alternatives.
In the summer the California Supreme Court slapped down a challenge to the plastic bag ban of Manhattan Beach. The court ruled that an EIR was not required to ban plastic bags as challengers asserted. This decision overturned an appellate court ruling. Many municipalities in California were waiting on the outcome of that court case before adopting their own ordinances.
In September the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors approved a ban on single-use plastic bags combined with a 10¢ charge on paper bags. This one-two punch is designed to encourage shoppers to bring their own bags to the store. The law will apply to the unincorporated sections of the county and will go into effect next year.
Other local jurisdictions are working on this issue. Monterey's bag ban is in the draft stage, and the cities of Santa Cruz, Watsonville, and Capitola are expected to follow in the future with their own ordinances.