Today marks the day that grocers in the unincorporated areas of Marin County will no longer be able to distribute single-use plastic bags. Recycled paper bags may be purchased for a five cent fee per bag. The goal is to eliminate unnecessary waste and litter, by encouraging citizens to bring their own reusable bags for shopping.
In support of the measure, and for the sake of consistency throughout the area, several grocers in incorporated areas of the county are expected to voluntarily adopt the new regulations.
The ordinance brings to fruition the efforts of a broad coalition of community groups– BYO Bag Marin –working closely with Marin County’s Board of Supervisors, which unanimously approved the plastic bag ban and paper bag fee in January of 2011. Although the county was promptly sued by the industry front group “Save the Plastic Bag Coalition,” the case was decided this September in favor of the county.
Surprisingly, January 1st brings even more comprehensive change for nearby San Jose, which will ban all retailers from providing single-use plastic carry-out bags. See the story in the Marin IJ.