CA City Enacts Plastic Bag Ban
March 22, 2011
A ban on
plastic shopping bags has gone into effect in the city of Santa Monica, CA, impacting shoppers at
supermarkets, convenience and liquor stores, as well as pharmacies. City officials
say enforcement of the ban won’t begin until September 1, allowing for a
six-month grace period before penalties are levied. Fines will start at $75 per
violation, with criminal prosecution possible for repeat offenders.
recyclable paper bags will still be available in stores for $0.10 apiece
(effective in September), reusable grocery totes stand to gain in popularity.
Leaders in Santa Monica have openly urged residents to
embrace reusable bags, encouraging community drop-offs and other initiatives.
To date, both the Santa Monica business community and hospitality
industry have supported the ban, city leaders say.
to watchdog group Heal the Bay, about 26 million single-use plastic shopping
bags have been used each year in Santa Monica alone. California communities, the group says, spend
nearly $25 million each year to collect and dispose of plastic bag waste.
While Santa Monica’s plastic bag ban is the most
recent to go into effect, similar measures have won backing in other municipalities.
Three communities in California and one in Texas have passed plastic bag bans this
year. Nationwide, 19 plastic bag bans have been enacted or approved overall,
beginning with San Francisco in 2007.