Solana Beach to revisit plastic bag ban

By Claire Harlin

The Solana Beach City Council will be revisiting the plastic bag ban it passed last May, after councilman Tom Campbell on Jan. 23 requested to have the ordinance — namely its requirement that businesses charge 10 cents for a paper bag — agendized for a future date.

The request came after former Solana Beach Mayor Celine Olson voiced her concern to the council, saying that she supported getting rid of plastic bags, but the 10-cent charge for paper bags is going too far.

“My request is that you remove the tax, which I consider it to be, that’s imposed and stop making stores lose business,” Olson said. “Management and employees have admitted to the loss of business, and as a matter of principle I will not pay to carry my products home.”

She added that fabric bags contain bacteria if  they are not washed after every use, and she therefore prefers not to use them. Councilman Peter Zahn asked that the city, when revisiting the ordinance, look further into safety issues.

City Manager David Ott said it’s not the bags that cause bacteria, but the vegetables people put in the bags, however, once introduced the bacteria can exist in the bags.

Councilman David Zito also asked that the city do an analysis of sales tax revenues to examine whether businesses have lost money due to the ban.

Ott said that a plastic bag ban is now being discussed at the state level, and the 10-cent fee is included in that proposed law. He added that it was the California Grocers Association — not Solana Beach — that thought up the 10-cent fee, which was included in the ordinances of seven other jurisdictions that imposed the ban last year.

Olson said she doesn’t want to pay 10 cents that could be subsidizing advertising on paper bags, when it likely costs the bag manufacturer a fraction of that fee to make each bag.

“Please modify the law and say ‘no’ to plastic and ‘yes’ to paper — free paper bags,” she said.

Related posts:

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  2. Solana Beach council votes to ban plastic bags
  3. Plastic bag ban to go in effect for dozens of Solana Beach businesses on Nov. 9
  4. Plastic bag ban to soon go into effect for more Solana Beach businesses
  5. Solana Beach plastic bag ban gets final go-ahead

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Posted by Staff on Jan 25, 2013. Filed under Carmel Valley, Del Mar, News, Solana Beach, carmel valley. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

8 Comments for “Solana Beach to revisit plastic bag ban”

  1. JSantanna

    I don’t quite understand the argument here. Ms. Olson does not want to “pay” to carry her products home, but she does realize that the stores have to BUY those bags they were giving out for FREE, right? That is one of the reasons that stores suggested the 10¢ fee – it is a business friendly idea. Why do you think Solana Beach grocers are losing money due to this ordinance?? Everyone still needs their groceries, I assume. I’ve been using reusable bags for years and years and if the stores have to internalize the costs of single-use bags, then I, and you all , have to pay for the bags Ms Olson wants to use. Why should I pay for something you want if I’m not going to use it? And the whole argument about bacteria is totally paranoid. Seriously. When my bags get dirty, I wash them. Much of the time, the bag are used to carry completely closed items like boxes of pasta and milk jugs. And the veggies are not loaded down with bacteria, which is a good thing as I plan to eat those veggies! Maybe after the veggies sit in our friges for a week, but fresh from the store. What do you think us humans did before the invention of single-use plastic bags???

    • Bagless

      JSantana you assume wrong. Yes, everyone still needs their groceries, but we are shopping NOT in Solana Beach. Get it? The city of Solana Beach does not have walls around it. We can shop in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, Encinitas. And we ARE.
      As for your question “What do you think us humans did before the invention of single-use plastic bags???” We brought our food in the house from our farms. We were less populated. We did not ship groceries the way we do now. We did not bring in food from other countries etc. etc. etc. think about it…

    • Donny Brooke

      I never liked the plastic bags and never used them. But I don’t believe I should have to pay for paper bags either. I understand why the stores need the ten cents for paper bags to offset the costs associated with government intrusion into their business by banning the cheaper bags. I believe that the city should reimburse the retail stores for the added operating costs out of the city council’s pension fund.

      Unless the bags are free, I will continue to ask the grocery clerks to carry by unbagged items out individually and stack them into the trunk of my car; I’m not paying for bags (paper or reusable).

      All of this earth hugging malarkey needs to stop!

  2. Jim

    A ban on plastic without a corresponding fee on paper bags is meaningless. The idea is to cut down on waste, not substitute one form of waste for another. If the paper bags are free, people will use them once and trash them, just like they do with plastic today.

  3. Jay

    People don’t understand that paper is far worse than plastic, many ways. For one, 1000 typical plastic bags weigh abut 12 pounds, they are produced from natural gas that comes in by pipe .. They are 100% recyclable. Paper on the other hand weighs about 150 pounds per 1000, the raw material, trees, must be cut, transported to the pulp factory, made into paper transported to the bag factory and to distribution, if made with recycled material, the transportation is the same, it takes a lot of motor fuel to make a paper bag and get it to you.

    I suggest that cities work with their refuse companies to accept plastic bags as long as they are bundled into each other forming a ball … easily seperated in single stream recycling.

    Reusable bags are made with the equal material of maybe 25 or 30 plastic bags, they are used 20 to 50 times and always wind up in a landfill ..

    I don’t shop Solana Beach anymore because of this ordinance ..

  4. Bagless

    A huge thank you to former Mayor Olsen for calling much needed attention to the ill-thought out , irresponsible decision by the Solana Beach City Council. Olsen’s comments about the 10 cent paper bag charge and the loss of revenue of local businesses, highlight the short sightedness of the council.

    Regarding Olsen’s statements on reusable bag health issues, most shoppers do not realize the seriousness of the problem. Some rationalize and say “I wash my bags” and feel good about doing the right thing. But most don’t know that NINETY SEVEN percent of shoppers NEVER wash their bags. Think about it…you are in line at Vons or Sprouts in Solana Beach. You watch as the bagger reaches into the filthy, germ infested, never-washed reusable bag of the customer in front of you… and loads groceries into it. Now it’s your turn since you’re next in line…and those same, germ-infested hands load your groceries!!
    Another detail mostly unknown is the FACT that most shoppers store their germ-laden bags in the backs/trunks of their cars. Bags stored in such a way get hot. And the germs inside multiply TEN TIMES what they originally were…
    Now let’s talk about what is happening in emergency rooms as a result of the ridiculous plastic bag bans:
    I imagine the Solana Beach City Council is re-visiting their pathetic decision due to the fact that more an more reports such as the link above are causing them to fear potential lawsuits. Imagine chemotherapy patients and others with compromised/weakened immune systems who have been FORCED to utilize re-usable bags…and then they become and maybe event die from the bacteria…Yeah, if I were on the Solana Beach City Council I would definitely re-visit a very very bad decision…

  5. skibunny

    I am a resident of Solana Beach and am not happy about the plastic bag ban. We re-use the bags to pick up after our 2 dogs among other uses. This ban is a ridiculous government over-reach of power. Get off your environmental high horses. Don’t you think that the paper bags being used are depleting our forests? The grocery stores still supply plastic bags for vegetables and meats so what’ the point???

  6. AgainstArrogance

    The Un-bridled Arrogance of some council members and one city manager must come to an end so that we can find reasonable solutions to these petty problems. Stop these so-called leaders from wasting time and our tax dollars on whimsical notions that sound like a popular “green” Idea and get to taking care of the Primary Needs of our community

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