San Diego Moves To Ban Plastic Bags

Focus On Grocery Stores And Other Retail Outlets

San Diego Plastic Bag BanThe San Diego City Council's rules and economic development committee unanimously voted yesterday to move forward with an ordinance that would ban single-use plastic bags from the city's grocery stores and other retail outlets. San Diego's proposed ordinance would ban plastic bags in supermarkets, large stores that sell food, plus drug, convenience, hardware and clothing stores. The proposal would also require stores to charge customers 10 cents per paper bag used as an alternative, but would exempt restaurants, nonprofits, food stamp recipients, and produce and meat products. The city would provide for distribution of reusable bags and public education.

"San Diego is poised to become one of the largest cities to take such a positive step towards bettering our environment," said Sherri Lightner, chairwoman of the San Diego City Council committee overseeing the new legislation. "This is about protecting our ocean, our canyons, our waterways and landfills."

If the ordinance is passed, San Diego would become one of nearly 80 cities in California that have passed laws restricting single-use plastic bags. So far, interim mayor Todd Gloria said he would support the legislation banning plastic bags from supermarkets and some other retail stores. The City Council will meet again on October 23 to move the ordinance closer to a full vote.