As Solana Beach revisits its ban, plastic bag usage in Del Mar may come up on a future agenda

By Claire Harlin

While it is not considering a ban at this point, the Del Mar City Council on March 4 unofficially voiced support for gathering data on business’s plastic bag usage in the city. Meanwhile, Solana Beach is responding to concern by having city staff review the 10-cent paper bag fee implemented last year as part of that city’s plastic bag ban.

The recommendation to seek a date for discussion in Del Mar was first made by the city’s Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB) and then brought to the council’s attention by Councilman Don Mosier, at which point officials discussed possibly agendizing the issue for a formal, noticed discussion in the future.

SAB has been charged with addressing plastic bag usage in the city to determine whether the city should consider an ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags as some 65 cities and counties across the state have done. So far, the bans do not apply to restaurants, although that’s the subject of an ongoing lawsuit.

The SAB recommended last month that the city conduct a study to determine how many businesses are actually using plastic bags. Officials said an unpaid summer intern would complete the study, which would take about two hours a week at no cost to the city.

Del Mar Mayor Terry Sinnott said he’d like to encourage businesses to curb their plastic bag usage rather than implement a ban.

“I think what Solana Beach has done has been a detriment to their area, even though they are reconsidering it,” he said.