"BAN THE BAG" Model Ordinance Drafted
Hearing “paper or plastic” at the grocery store might be a thing of the past. Humboldt Waste Management Authority is drafting an ordinance to ban single use plastic bags. Its part of the “Ban the Bag” movement.
In Eureka, the North Coast Co Op has already banned plastic bags. And for Assistant Store Manager Mary Ann Lyons, going green is great.
"We're hoping to eventually be plastic free in the entire store," she said, "It costs about 10 cents per bag."
That's why they ask customer's to bring their own or use a recycled box.
Mary Ann also says that by doing something as simple as using recycled boxes instead of bags, the North Coast Co Op has been able to reduce their landfill use by about 70 percent. The only plastic used in the store-this week- is about two garbage bags full of packaging materials.
At Humboldt Waste Management... a bulldozer sized pile of garbage.
"The bags do get into the environment,” says Program Director Brent Whitener. He is drafting the local "ban the bag" model ordinance.
"We made it the most comprehensive we could. So when jurisdictions look at they can pick and choose parts of it."
In about 90 days it will go from Whitener’s hands to city and county governing bodies.
"The county of Humboldt has been interested in pursuing a bag ordinance for some time," said District 3 Supervisor Mark Lovelace.
"We recognize there's a cost to plastic bags. They're not free, we as consumers pay for plastic bags every time we go into the store."
Back at the Co Op… "Would you like a bag or a box?" sirens Mary Ann’s voice to a customer.
4 of California’s 58 counties have already banned single use plastic bags, and 44 cities have already ordained the bags banned.
"I think we're behind the times,” Mary says.
"There's certainly a lot of interest in plastic bags," Whitener adds.
"An ordinance like this is just one step to get us there," Lovelace concludes.