REGION:

Ventura County, California

Updates from Ventura County Chapter—Protecting our local ocean and beaches from source to surf
May 13, 2014

Ventura Reusable Bag Ordinance Hearing on Monday!

We need your help to convince the Ventura City Council to finalize the Reusable Bag Ordinance for the City of Ventura! The proposed ordinance would ban plastic checkout bags at food retailers along with a small fee on paper bags as the incentive to remember your reusable bags. On Monday May 19th City Council will vote on the specific ordinance language and implementation dates. You can view the meeting agenda and staff report in advance. It’s been a long process and the end is near so your support now is critical!

  1. Attend the hearing on Monday May 19th at Ventura City Hall and wear blue to show your support. The item will likely be heard between 7 and 9pm. Please Email venturarap@gmail.com to RSVP if you can attend. Check out these tips on attending a city council meeting.
  2. Email all City Councilmembers at council@cityofventura.net to let them know you ‘SUPPORT a Reusable Bag Ordinance for Ventura’ and include some of your personal reasons.

pierpont.cormorantVentura is a beautiful city but plastic bag litter is the most visible scar on our community.  Plastic bags don’t biodegrade in our lifetimes and can impact marine life through ingestion or entanglement when littered.  Check out this narrated slideshow which documents local plastic bag litter and discusses the issue in more detail.

Plastic checkout bags are typically made from non-renewable resources such as natural gas.  Plastic bags do not biodegrade in our lifetimes and can impact wildlife when littered – in addition to being an eyesore, costing taxpayer dollars to pick up, potentially clogging drains and possibly creating mosquito breeding grounds in warmer months.  While plastic bags are recyclable, recent reports show a dismal 5% recycling rate from the 115 billion bags used nationwide.  Here are some FAQ’s based on model ordinance language provided in the Environmental Impact Report:

BYOB Bag_VenturaQ: What kind of plastic bag is banned?
Plastic carryout bags include any bag made of plastic (from any source), which is provided to the customer at the point of sale.

Q: What kind of plastic bag is NOT banned?
Produce bags and Product bags are bags without handles used exclusively to carry produce, meats, or other food items to the point of sale or to prevent such food items from coming into direct contact with other purchased items.

Q: Why should the City of Ventura consider a checkout bag ordinance?
The intent of the Checkout Bag Ordinance is to significantly reduce the environmental impacts related to single-use plastic and paper carry out bags and promote a major shift towards the use of reusable bags.

Q: How are single-use plastic carryout bags harmful to the environment?
They are consumed in extremely high volumes
They are typically produced from non-renewable resources
They are designed to be disposable (rather than reusable)
Difficult to recycle. Less than 5% of plastic bags used annually are actually recycled.  Plastic bags and film processed by Gold Coast Recycling in Ventura is likely shipped overseas, not truly recycled  locally.
Plastic bags are a significant and visible component of litter and do not biodegrade. They remain in the environment as marine, storm drain, and beach pollution for decades
Plastic bags are a significant hazard to animals and birds, which can be impacted by ingestion or entanglement

Q: Is there any exception to this ban?
The Ordinance does NOT prohibit the distribution of plastic “product bags” such as those distributed within a grocery store for bagging produce or meat.

Q: What stores are required to charge 10 cents for each recycled paper bag?
All grocery stores, convenience stores, minimarts, liquor stores, drug stores and pharmacies are prohibited from providing free distribution of single-use paper and plastic carryout bags. If these stores decide to make paper carryout bags available for their customers, they are required to sell recycled paper carryout bags made from 100% total recycled content with 40% post-consumer recycled content for not less than 10 cents per bag.

Q: Why is there a $0.10 fee on recycled paper carryout bags?
The fee of $0.10 on recycled paper carryout bags encourages the use of reusable bags. This cost pass-through reimburses retailers for the costs of providing recycled paper carry out bags to their customers. All of the revenue from the cost pass-through remains with the store.

Q: How do I avoid paying 10 cents for each recycled paper bag?
It’s easy! Remember to bring your own reusable bags to the store. Some stores will even offer you a credit for bringing your own bag!

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