Last week, the seven cities and unincorporated communities in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., passed legislation to restrict single-use plastic shopping bags, raising the number of Golden State jurisdictions with plastic bag bans from 17 to 25.
Elected officials on the county’s waste management board voted 8-5 to prohibit supermarkets, pharmacies and other large retailers from distributing plastic bags to customers starting this October, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported. Under the new regulations, stores can give out 40-percent recycled-content paper bags, but must charge a 10-cent fee per bag to encourage shoppers to bring their own totes to the store.
Environmental groups, local landfills and the California Grocers Association supported the ordinance, citing plastic litter’s impact on marine life, the Tribune said.
Located along California’s central coast, San Luis Obispo County includes such cities as Paso Robles, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo.
Meanwhile, further north in Washington, state lawmakers are debating outlawing plastic bags statewide, less than a month after Seattle passed an ordinance banning plastic bags and placing a fee on paper bags.
According to the Everett, Wash.-based Daily Herald, legislation introduced to the State Senate would bar stores in the Evergreen State from handing out plastic shopping bags, while the House is considering a bill that bans plastic bags and places a 5-cent fee on paper bags.