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Oceanside, Del Mar Consider Plastic Bag Bans

Oceanside and Del Mar will hold events Thursday to educate the public about what a ban on plastic bags would mean to them. Both cities are considering plastic bag bans next year.

The Del Mar Sustainablity Advisory Board is holding an outreach meeting Thursday night at the City Hall annex to inform residents about a proposed ban.

Meanwhile, Oceanside is holding its annual “Day without a Bag.” Oceanside’s Zero Waste Team and Utilities Commission are rallying to pass a plastic bag ban, following a failed City Council vote in October.

Photo by Promise Yee

Oceanside Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery in front of Coastal Market, a store that could be affected if the city passes a ban on single use plastic bags next year. Dec. 11, 2015.

Oceanside Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery, council liaison to the commission, said community workshops are being held to explain a proposed city bag ban.

"We're going to pass it eventually," Lowery said. "It's just having it be something people are knowledgeable of and understanding who it's going to impact, and how it's going to change our everyday lives very little."

Two workshops were recently held in south Oceanside, and 25 more are planned for January.

Feedback is being collected to help city staff word the ban to suit the community, and have minimum impact on businesses.

One option is to ban plastic bags at high volume sales grocery stores, which includes successful markets.

“The idea is to not impose a regulation that harms smaller businesses,” Lowery said. “Typically larger businesses that are doing $2 million or up in sales a year, they can afford to provide other types of bags.”

Lowery said he would like to see a city ban in place before the November 2016 state vote on an initiative that proposes the opposite course of action: No bag ban.

"The more cities that already have a plastic bag ban implemented, the more likely those cities are to vote in favor of continuing the plastic bag ban, or expanding it statewide," Lowery said.

Oceanside's Zero Waste Team and Utilities Commission is working to have a bag ban adopted by summer.

The North County cities of Solana Beach and Encinitas already have single-use plastic bag bans in place.

Promise Yee is a North County freelance writer. Contact her at promise.yee1@gmail.com. Twitter: @promisenews.

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