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Ocean Beach Officials Back Ban On Plastic Bags

Credit: Renee Rendler-Kaplan

Aired 12/3/13 on KPBS News.

The Ocean Beach Town Council is joining the chorus of calls for a ban on single-use plastic bags.

— Ocean Beach officials have determined nearly 500 million single-use bags are handed out in San Diego every year and they think it's time to change course.

The Ocean Beach Town Council passed a resolution supporting a citywide ordinance that severely limits single-use plastic bags.

The community organization said a ban is inevitable in the city of San Diego and likely will be approved next year.

Town Council President Gretchen Kinney Newsom said Ocean Beach is a progressive community and residents worry about the environmental impact of the single-use bags because the bags foul water and land. Kinney Newsom hardly considers the resolution controversial.

"I'd say this is trending to become reality in all of California," Kinney Newsom said. "Over 78 California municipalities have enacted similar ordinances banning or restricting the use of plastic bags, and it's a very common action of a shopper at a grocery store to carry their own plastic bags."

The San Diego City Council is considering eliminating the use of plastic bags at big box retailers and grocery stores. City officials are expected to vote on an ordinance early next year.

California lawmakers are also considering a statewide measure limiting the use of the bags. A vote on that bill could also come after the first of the year.

Comments

Avatar for user 'GretchenNewsom'

GretchenNewsom | December 3, 2013 at 9:43 a.m. ― 7 months, 3 weeks ago

The Ocean Beach Town Council Resolution In Support of a Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance in the City of San Diego is avialable here:

http://obtowncouncil.org/plastic-bag-ban-resolution/

We hope other neighborhood councils pass simliar measures of support for this ordinance.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | December 3, 2013 at 10:29 a.m. ― 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Yeah, I am sure banning plastic bags in one tiny part of the world surrounded by places that allow plastic bags will really make a difference. Good job focusing your efforts on useless feel-good gestures instead of the real issues facing our nation.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | December 3, 2013 at 10:57 a.m. ― 7 months, 3 weeks ago

JM, the idea that because one cannot solve a large on there should be no attempt made to solve a smaller one seems fallacious.
That being said, I think an outright ban is the wrong way to go about changing consumer behavior.
If the city sin-taxed it like alcohol and tobacco (at the state level) they will drive the local market away from the current equilibrium. Of course that also seems like an overreach.
Perhaps a better way to reduce the number of waste bags would be to require they be constructed of biodegradable polymers so that they self-compost.

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Avatar for user 'CallieSD'

CallieSD | December 3, 2013 at 12:11 p.m. ― 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Lived in Eugene this past summer where a plastic bag ban is already in place, and it looked like all the businesses and community had made a seamless transition. Lots of reusable bags offered and many were tiny enough to fit in a glove box or purse when not in use. It's a simple change in habits, not difficult at all in our experience, and well worth the environmental benefits. Volunteer at any coastal clean up and you'll see first hand how plastic bags litter our beautiful city.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | December 3, 2013 at 2:55 p.m. ― 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I would be happy to pay a little more for biodegradable plastic bags. I know there are biodegradable substitutes, those should be used instead. Once again benz is a voice of reason.

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