At tonight’s City Council meeting the City Council will be considering opting out of the recent passed Alameda Countywide ban on single use bags ban. A nutshell of the Alameda Countywide ban from the staff report:
The ACWMA-approved single-use bag reduction ordinance bans the use of single-use plastic carryout bags as of January 1 , 2013. Recycled content paper bags or reuseable bags may be provided , but only if the retailer charges a minimum price of $0. 10 for each bag. The $0. 10 price wil increase to $0. 25 per bag on January 1 , 2015, unless the ACWMA determines this increase is not necessary to sufficiently discourage single-use bag use. This requirement applies to drug stores, large stores selling packaged food pharmacies, supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience food stores, and liquor stores. Restaurants, take-out food establishments, retail stores that do not sell packaged food and charitable thrift stores do not have to comply. This ordinance applies to all Alameda County jurisdictions, unless an individual jurisdiction passes a resolution to opt-out” of the ordinance by March 2 , 2012.
According to the staff report, staff is asking the City Council to delay on opting-in to the ban on single use bags until staff gets a chance to hold community meetings to get a sense of whether or not Alamedans want the ban or not.
So, other than being overly cautious about getting community input it’s unclear why staff is urging Alameda to be the only city in all of Alameda County to opt-out of the single-use bag ban. In fact Save the Bay has already sent out emails to its mailing list pointing out that Alameda has this on the agenda for tonight and have asked their membership to take action in the form of an email blast to the City Council urging them to reconsider.
And while I happen to reuse my single use shopping bags, it’s a ban I can live with and will figure out some other kitty litter containment vehicle, unless City Staff has a much more compelling argument at the actual meeting, their “we need to see if the public actually wants it” seems a bit lame considering that no other jurisdiction is contemplating opting out of the exact same ban. And so far all of the correspondence seems to be in favor of opting in to the ban.
Someone tweeted the other day and indicated that this item had been pulled from the City Council agenda, but as of last night it was still listed on the agenda, so just as precaution I’m blogging about it as though it is still on the agenda as listed on the website. Also, I had totally spaced, but Susan Davis wrote an excellent summary of the debate on this topic, check it out on In Alameda.