Good morning – Here is a reminder that there is an informational meeting TONIGHT concerning Redwood City’s consideration of a reusable bag ordinance (also known as a plastic bag ban).
The detail is below – this is the second informational meeting on this issue, and will be held in the community room of the Downtown Library, 1044 Middlefield Road. More information on the possible ordinance is online at www.redwoodcity.org/ReusableBag
, and on the County’s model ordinance and multi-agency EIR at http://smchealth.org/bagban
Redwood City Informational Meeting – Reusable Bag Ordinance
At its meeting of March 11, 2013, the City Council of Redwood City will be considering adoption of a reusable bag ordinance which would prohibit the distribution of single-use plastic bags within the City. This follows San Mateo County’s adoption of a reusable bag ordinance last year, which has subsequently been adopted by a number of other cities on the peninsula. The second of two informational meetings is scheduled for TONIGHT, Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 7 pm in the Community Room of the Redwood City Downtown Library, at 1044 Middlefield Road. The meeting is intended to assist businesses and community members with understanding the scope and effect of the proposed reusable bag ordinance. The City’s web page outlining the consideration of a reusable bag ordinance is located at www.redwoodcity.org/ReusableBag.
The County provided the environmental analysis for its reusable bag ordinance, which the cities, including Redwood City, can rely upon for their ordinance. The purpose of a multi-agency process such as this is to provide for a uniform, consistent standard across the region, making for a smoother transition and easier compliance by affected businesses. If adopted, the City’s ordinance would take effect on April 25, 2013.If adopted in Redwood City, the ordinance would ban distribution of plastic bags by all retailers except restaurants and nonprofits (not including protective bags for produce or meat, dry-cleaning, and newspapers, among other exemptions), and require retailers to charge a minimum of 10¢ per paper bag used (25¢ as of 2015).
In 2012, San Mateo County prepared a Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and passed an ordinance for a ban on single-use plastic bags, in favor of the use of reusable bags, affecting unincorporated County areas. The County’s ordinance takes effect on April 22, 2013. All cities in San Mateo County with an interest in adopting the County ordinance within their borders have either passed or are considering passage of a reusable bag ordinance. These 18 cities are all identified in the County’s EIR and its Study Area, which allows cities to adopt the ordinances without needing to conduct a separate environmental analysis. The EIR notes that an estimated 400 million single-use plastic bags are used each year in San Mateo County, including an estimated 42 million in Redwood City, with only a small percentage being recycled. The majority end up in the landfill, or as litter and in storm drains, and they are a common litter item found in roadway, park, and creek cleanups in Redwood City. As litter, these plastic bags can adversely affect marine life when they find their way into streams, creeks, lakes, and the bay. The EIR estimates that an ordinance would potentially reduce Redwood City’s annual use of plastic bags by 95%.
Further, use of reusable bags reduces litter and conserves natural resources: a reusable bag has the potential to replace over 600 single-use plastic bags over its lifetime, significantly reducing plastic bag litter, and reducing the one-time use of paper bags.
The community is invited to this information meeting, and to the March 11 City Council meeting, to learn more and participate in the discussion of a possible ordinance banning the use of single-use plastic bags. If the Council approves, a second reading of the ordinance would be held at the City Council’s March 25 meeting, with the ordinance becoming effective 30 days later.