• City of Salinas prepares plastic bag ban

    Save Our Shores (SOS) and the Central Coast Sanctuary Alliance announced today that the Salinas City Council voted by a margin of 4 – 3 to direct staff   to move forward with drafting a single use carryout plastic bag ban ordinance. City staff will begin work on drafting the plastic bag ban ordinance which will ban single use plastic bags from being distributed at all grocery, convenience, and retail stores. The ban will also propose a required fee on paper bags at the point of sale, and the date the ordinance will go into effect. Salinas is the largest city in the County of Monterey and implementation of a single use plastic bag ban ordinance will result in a significant decrease in plastic bag litter in inland waterways, city storm drains, and streets. SOS has already calculated an 80 percent decrease in plastic bag litter in nearby areas where bans have been implemented.

    “I have been looking forward to this day for two years now as I knew Salinas would demonstrate leadership on this issue. I was impressed by Councilwoman De La Rosa’s thoughtful effort of bringing in her reusable bag and saying, ‘In Latin American countries we are familiar with these bags already and this is what we want the people in our community here to start using,’” said Laura Kasa, Executive Director of SOS.

    As a statewide plastic bag ban has failed to pass time and again in the Legislature in Sacramento, cities and counties throughout California have continued to pass local ordinances to address the problem of single use plastics in their communities. By passing a single use plastic bag ban, the City of Salinas joins the 59 adopted ordinances and 80 California cities and municipalities covered by these ordinances.

    Passage of these ordinances is a critical component of Save Our Shores’ Plastic Pollution and Ocean Awareness Initiatives to reduce and remove single use plastics from the Central Coast of California. Since the spring of 2007, SOS volunteers have removed approximately 38,700 plastic bags from local Monterey Bay area beaches and waterways. Plastic bags are not biodegradable, they pose a serious environmental risk to wildlife, cause blight in our cities, and clog our storm drains burdening our cities with huge cleanup costs. A ban on plastic bags is the first step to help preserve the integrity of our local ecosystems, reduce the burden on landfills, and decrease litter within the city limits. Save Our Shores conducts monthly beach and waterway cleanups and coordinates the Annual Coastal Cleanup Day to address the problem of plastic pollution and marine debris on the Central Coast.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on September 12, 2013

    Topics: Green

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