Plastic bag study available for review

SOLANA BEACH — The initial study for a proposed law to reduce the use of plastic bags is available for a 30-day public review.City Council directed staff in October to prepare a draft ordinance that would essentially eliminate the distribution of single-use plastic bags by businesses and discourage paper bags by requiring stores to charge 10 cents for each one.

If and when adopted, the new law would be phased in. Grocery stores, food vendors, restaurants, pharmacies and city facilities would have three months to implement the new policy.

All other retail businesses and vendors would be given six months.

Retail establishments would be encouraged to provide incentives for patrons to use reusable bags by offering credits funded by the 10-cent paper bag charge.

None of that money would go to the city.

There will be exemptions for businesses that can demonstrate an undue hardship or where there are no acceptable alternatives to plastic bags.

Shoppers on food welfare programs will be given reusable bags at no charge.

There are 461 licensed retail establishments in Solana Beach. About 160 of those establishments provide plastic bags to consumers.

The new law would likely have the greatest effect on the city’s two supermarkets and pharmacies.

The study will be available for review through March 13 at City Hall or on the website at
ci.solana-beach.ca.us.

Comments must be submitted by then in writing to Wende Protzman, Community Development Director, 635 S. Coast Hwy. 101, Solana Beach, 92075.

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