By Claire Harlin
If you’re a shopper of the Vons or CVS on Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach, you’ll likely see some new signage going up that reads “Don’t forget your bags.” That’s right. While many in the city protested the plastic bag ban approved last year — and especially the 10-cent fee for paper bags that goes along with it — the Solana Beach City Council on March 27 made no formal moves when the issue was brought back to City Hall for discussion. Instead, they encouraged the city to put more effort into enforcement and promoting awareness regarding the ban.
Councilman Tom Campbell made a motion to explore alternatives to the 10-cent paper bag fee, however, no other councilmembers seconded that motion, and the consensus of the council was that city staff should further educational programs to help integrate the ordinance into the community. Councilmembers said this should include, first and foremost, communication with store employees in order to thoroughly inform them about the city regulation and how they should educate customers.
Not only did close to 20 residents provide comment at the public hearing, mainly in favor of the ban, but three members of the first Solana Beach City Council showed up — two being in favor and one, Celine Olson, being the lone soldier in opposition to the ban.
A mother of five, Olson said she depends on — and has for many years depended on — re-using plastic bags within the home for clean-up tasks.
“They are necessary for chores in the house,” Olson said. “Shoppers will go elsewhere as long as there is an elsewhere to go.”
Councilman Dave Zito said he appreciated the public discourse and hopes that Olsen doesn’t think she has made any enemies on the council. However, he said he supports the 10-cent fee for paper bags in the city.
“I think one of the best ways to work with our fellow cities in encouraging them to adopt and follow us is to show the leadership we are showing,” said Zito. “I think this is great that we are sticking to our guns and continuing on the path we have taken.”