West County Cities Enact Ordinances to Encourage the Use of Reusable Bags in Retail Establishments
During the summer and fall months of 2013, the West Contra Costa cities of El Cerrito, Richmond, and San Pablo adopted single use bag reduction ordinances to become effective January 1, 2014. The City of Hercules adopted an ordinance in September of 2014 which will go into effect on March 10, 2015. Each city adopted its' own ordinance based on the model ordinance that was developed by RecycleMore on behalf of its' member agencies. The regional approach ensured that ordinances would not vary significantly between neighboring jurisdictions and also served as a cost saving benefit since a regional environmental review was also conducted as a whole rather than on a city by city basis. Each member agency was responsible for preparing and finalizing the terms and language contained in its' ordinance with the final approval by their respective city councils.
Typically the ordinances ban the distribution of single use (plastic) bags at the point of sale for all retail establishments (except restaurants or take out food establishments), places a 5 to 10 cent charge on each paper bag distributed, and require the paper bags contain a minimal amount of post consumer material. Plastic bags that are used by customers to protect or contain raw meat, fresh produce, and prepared foods from moisture, damage or contamination are exempt.
To see detailed information on the individual ordinances please visit the following city website pages: City of El Cerrito, City of Richmond, City of San Pablo , City of Hercules. Comments and specific questions on the ordinances should be directed to the City departments listed on these websites. As of June 2015, the City of Pinole, and the unincorporated West County areas within RecycleMore's jurisdiction have not enacted single use bag ban ordinances.
Did you know there are efforts to establish legislation supporting a state wide single use bag ban? Visit the link below to read about recent happenings in this quest and on other local governments in banning single use bags.