First phase of plastic bag ban starts April 10

First phase of plastic bag ban starts April 10
April 10 is the day that the first phase of an Encinitas-approved ban on plastic shopping bags goes into effect, after a divided City Council last year adopted the measure in advance of a statewide ban. Photo courtesy Wikimedia

ENCINITAS — If you’re doing grocery shopping in Encinitas after April 10, remember to BYOB — Bring Your Own Bag.

April 10 is the day that the first phase of a city-approved ban on plastic shopping bags goes into effect, after a divided City Council last year adopted the measure in advance of a statewide ban.

The ban will roll out in two phases: Phase One will prohibit plastic at grocery stores, pharmacies and drug stores, discount stores with food products, convenience stores and mini marts, liquor stores and city facilities.

The ban also requires retailers to charge at least 10 cents for paper bags, and it also allows businesses to rebate or credit customers up to five cents per each reusable bag they use per transaction.

Phase 2 begins Oct. 10, and it expands the prohibition to department stores, clothing stores, hardware stores, farmers markets and all other establishments selling merchandise.

Encinitas becomes the second San Diego County city to adopt a prohibition on plastic bags, which take several years to decompose, with many ending up in the ocean, where they choke wildlife and contribute to large collections of debris in the world’s waters. Solana Beach adopted a similar prohibition in 2012.

California was poised to become the nation’s first state to enact a statewide ban starting July 1, but opponents of the ban successfully gathered enough signatures to put the ban on the November 2016 ballot, which has put the ban on hold.

Opponents assail that bag bans have no significant environmental benefit, but pump millions of dollars in fees associated with reusable and paper bag sales into grocers hands.

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