The city of Sacramento, CA, has approved a ban of single-use plastic bags – the 130th jurisdiction in the Golden State to pass such a measure. Sacramento’s city council unanimously approved the ban in a meeting last week. Effective next January, shoppers must either bring in their own reusable bag or be charged 10 cents for each recycled paper bag used by the store. “This is about our city resuming our spot as a leader in the state of California and doing the right thing,” said Mayor Kevin Johnson.
According to the ordinance, Sacramento stores are allowed to provide free reusable bags as part of a promotion, but can only run these promotions up to 60 days per year. Free reusable or recycled paper bags will be provided to participants in the California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
A report compiled by Sacramento’s city government shows that nearly 14 million plastic bags are used in the capital each month. According to environmental advocacy organization Californians Against Waste, 19 billion plastic bags are distributed each year by retailers in California.
In February, a statewide California ban was rescinded when a trade group gathered enough signatures to prompt an upcoming voter referendum. Voters will ultimately decide whether a statewide single-use ban is enacted or not. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson proposed his city’s local ordinance in response to the referendum, and the state ban will supersede the Sacramento ordinance if it is reinstated in November of 2016. Sacramento’s ban requires stores to keep three years of sales records for paper and reusable bags, a provision that is not in the state’s ban.