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All Cities In On County-Wide Plastic Bag Ban

The ordinance goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2013

Starting next year, every store selling packaged foods in Alameda County will no longer provide its customers with single-use bags.

The Alameda County Waste Management Authority (Stopwaste.org) announced Tuesday that none of Alameda County's 14 cities chose to overrule the ban. Local jurisdictions were given until March 2 to opt out of the ordinance.

“We’re proud to have led this historic countywide effort,” said Gary Wolff, StopWaste.Org Executive Director in a press release. “The ordinance will not only reduce waste to landfills and protect waterways, but also save money for local governments by reducing litter.”

The ordinance prohibiting single-use bags go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

Recycled-content paper and reusable bags could be provided by retailers, but only at a minimum cost of $0.10 per bag to customers, the press release states. But that cost will rise to $0.25 per bag on Jan. 2, 2015 if the county board finds that the $0.10 charge does not efficiently discourage single-use bags.

The Alameda County Waste Management Authority passed the ordinance on Jan. 25 with reason to believe that restricting the distribution of single-use bags could lower pollution.

More from the press release:

Alameda County waterways threatened by trash and plastic pollution

In 2007, the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board declared five waterways in Alameda County – Strawberry Creek and Cordonices Creek in Berkeley, Sausal Creek and Damon Slough in Oakland, and San Leandro Creek in San Leandro – so polluted with trash that they violate the federal Clean Water Act. As part of Coastal Cleanup Day, volunteers reported removing almost 4,500 plastic bags from Alameda County creeks and shorelines in 2010. Also in 2010, per new regulations outlined in the Water Board’s municipal storm water permit, Alameda County jurisdictions identified 72 “trash hot spots” that are now required to be cleaned up. Further, several Alameda County waterways, including Damon Slough, repeatedly make Save The Bay’s annual list of Bay Trash Hot Spots.

Plastic trash solutions

Tough policies and regulations are needed to reduce plastic trash flowing to the Bay and ocean. Smartly crafted ban or charge policies, such as the one passed in Alameda County, are proven ways to create a mass switch to reusable bags to clean up our communities and San Francisco Bay. Washington D.C.’s five cent charge on bags has resulted in an estimated 80 percent decrease in plastic and paper bag distribution, and 66 percent fewer plastic bags found in the Anacostia River.

Alameda County cities currently spend millions to clean up litter in our creeks and storm drains – and plastic bags consistently make up a large portion of this trash. This single-use bag ordinance will also help reduce the number of bags going to landfill and decrease the problems caused by plastic bags at recycling processing centers, such as jammed machinery, work flow stoppages, and threatened worker safety.

In the absence of a statewide bill banning plastic bags, local efforts are more important than ever, placing Alameda County in the spotlight as cities and counties across the state and the country consider their own single-use bag ordinances.

Keith Barros March 15, 2012 at 04:30 AM
Your finger-pointing diversionary tactic has failed. It was TIM's idea for Tim to leave this state. It was TIM who said, "I hope to have gotten the hell out of CA before I need more!". So your "typical" accusation is disingenuous at best. Lord knows conservatives would never think of squashing opinions differing from their own.
Keith Barros March 15, 2012 at 04:56 AM
It's OK that Tim doesn't want liberals to procreate, though. Tony just responded to Tim's wish to leave California.
Leah Hall March 15, 2012 at 05:52 AM
Thanks for the article. It's cool to learn that progress is being made locally! Though some civic minded folks might be interested in this recent op-ed about online anonymity. This passage from the article caught my eye: "What are civic-minded people to do? They can't censure online speech, nor should they try. But they can start teaching themselves and others what makes forum comments valuable. One mark is that the author is willing to stand behind his or her statements with that person's real name. Without a name, credibility is up in the air no matter how smart the comment sounds." Web anonymity: The devil made me post it http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2017734048_harrop13.html
Tim March 15, 2012 at 05:54 AM
Oh, get off your high horse Keith. Tony was the one to take a cheap shot on the contraception issue (or I should say the issue of who should pay for his contraception). You libs can dish it out but you can't take it. It's kind of curious to me though... the polls from Alabama last night showed Rick Santorum's largest support came from "middle class, working women". Isn't this the group that is supposed to hate him the most? I sure hope you guys can come up with something better for Obama to use this summer or he's toast in November. Why doesn't he try running on his record? Oh, wait, nevermind...
Tim March 15, 2012 at 05:57 AM
And why would I do that? Without them I'd have to drive by your house and dump the litter box on your lawn.
Tim March 15, 2012 at 06:02 AM
Leah, what do you hope to accomplish by rant after rant about anonymous posters? If I thought you and other left minded folk had any self control I would post my full name and location, however, your (liberals in general) past actions have proven the contrary. Anonymity allows be to post without fear of having to have a loaded shotgun at my bedside, or constantly worry my car will be set on fire, or bricks thrown through my window. But hey, what am I talking about? Liberals are civil, right? OWS has been the most peaceful group of protesters I've ever seen.
David March 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Oftentimes clowns say silly things in order to distract you from reality. One clown in particular likes to wage war on arithmetic. Problem is that arithmetic always wins.
Keith Barros March 15, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Tim, If you had retained and acknowledged my response to you where I suggested you use recycled paper bags for your kitty litter and put them in your greenwaste or trash bins, then you wouldn't have had to make your second implied threat about dumping it on my doorstep and now my lawn. I see why you are concerned about using your real name. You seem to think along those lines of threatening those who have views that differ from yours. I don't see how not sinking to your level of threats and name-calling means that I am on my "high horse". I'm just on point. The point being the plastic bags AND not using the earth as a toxic waste dump. I have found that when when some people cannot win an argument with logic, they change the subject, call them names, and threaten. So why not take my suggestion and do your part in decelerating the poisoning of our invironment?
Keith Barros March 15, 2012 at 02:56 PM
David, I agree. 1. Start with the filters and then the whole poison stick. 2. People on the state payroll created the pension pyramid for themselves when we weren't paying attention. 3. We don't need more bureaucrats in Sacramento. But since the vast majority of plastic grocery bags do not get properly recycled, I think we should change the carrying device for our groceries.
Fran March 15, 2012 at 03:06 PM
This passage caught my eye: "Governments, in particular, absolutely loathe the idea that people can speak without being identified," media columnist Dan Gillmor wrote in The Guardian. He darkly warned, "I fear there will soon be widespread laws disallowing anonymous speech, even in America." I don't think you can make such a blanket statement about "credibility". first of all, most comments are merely stated opinions. Credibility, like opinions, vary with each reader. While anonymity can sometimes makes it harder to discern someones true motivation or agenda, (especially when they are in a position of power) I, personally, would rather deal with that rather then the alternative.
David March 15, 2012 at 03:26 PM
"Liberals" think they're wonderful because they want to invade every room of your house, but your bedroom (in theory, but not actually in practice, as they end up in your bedroom too by trying to force their opinions of certain practices on schoolchildren, rather than teaching them little-used skills like reading and arithmetic).
Tom Abate (Editor) March 15, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I can see that people are trying to be civil. Not naming names is a good start. Thank you. Letting go of animosities would be a good next step.
Keith Barros March 15, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I think being able to remain anonymous is a good thing. It gives the writer a freedom to express. I just think it should be better utilzed than some of the examples I've seen on Patch in the past 18 months. Intimidation through name-calling and threats are two of those examples. Those of us who have been following this article know that Tim's original response to Tony was "Hey wise ass, which state is it that bans contraception?..."
Leah Hall March 15, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Sage advice, certainly. I also really like in general your idea about getting the regulars to focus and diversify their creative energy (if I understood you correctly). I'm glad that our community blogger, "er, David" is enthusiastic about writing. I would suggest that he either "stand behind what he writes" by putting his name on it (my preference) or go with an unambiguous and entertaining moniker like "Bargain Hound" or "Worm Wrangler." If he'd like creative suggestions perhaps he might consider putting a name contest in his next blog.... I really don't have much of a dog in the fight on these strings most of the time, other than I think people really need to work hard to be civil and keep it real. We all slip up from time to time and need to be able to "hear" each other when requests are made. It's important.
David March 15, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Rodeo clowns: http://www.sportsarticles.com/Rodeo-Clowns-More-Than-Just-Smiling-Faces/a1807_1 "Rodeo clowns are essentially important figures in rodeo, as their prime function would be misdirection." One might call a blog commenter who studiously ignores the main point of a short column in order to focus the audience on the columnist's well-known name and some made-up issue of whether or not that name is well-known ENOUGH, a Blog Clown. I look forward to the Blog Clown's promised posting, whether under the Blog Clown's given name or under the title of Blog Clown, I'm sure it will be as fact-based, erudite and entertaining as the blog the Blog Clown unilaterally decided needing squashing in the name of free speech and all things "progressive," even going so far as to lie and claim it was "offensive," in order to claim the mantle of civil discourse. Because there's nothing more civil than lying, censorship, and name-calling (the Blog Clown doesn't even remember the name-calling of "Diva" etc, as the Blog Clown is...focused on misdirection). Keep up the work, Blog Clown. As always, the "progressive" masses delight in your misdirection; nothing could be ickier than actually facing mean old facts and numbers.
Leah Hall March 15, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Speaking of diversions ...Personally, Republican "math" doesn't impress me very much, but hey, I am but one person. My soulmate got his Phd in math and he isn't very impressed either, so that makes at least two of us in San Leandro. ;-)
David March 15, 2012 at 08:12 PM
It's hard to be impressed by simple arithmetic, admittedly, and I wouldn't expect a math PhD to be impressed by addition and subtraction. I refer only to the Clown's soulmate as the Clown admitted to not having even read the post. It's also hard to disprove it; indeed no effort by the Clown has been made to disprove the arithmetic presented (nor even read it), the Clown prefers to invent a distraction, and lie in order to avoid a discussion of the facts presented. Not impressive, but effective. Congrats, Clown, as I stated before, you won. I shan't blog here.
Keith Barros March 16, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Why would anyone buy those plastic bags when they give them away for free? And why would anyone buy so many?
Tim March 16, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Yes, Democrat math is much more advanced. The CBO (not the Republican party) just announced that Obama care is going to cost DOUBLE what we were told by Obama/Reid/Pelosi. But, hey, these people are geniuses and whats another trillion in debt anyway, right?
Tim March 16, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Granted, but here's the other issue.... the new rule requires businesses to charge their customers for paper bags a fee that government sees fit. Who the hell are these neo-Nazis to dictate to a private business what they must charge for paper bags? I do not have a "greenwaste" bin so that isn't an option. It has to go in the trash. And give me a little credit. I was being facetious about dumping animal waste on your property. The point was it has to go somewhere, why not in thin, lightweight plastic bags? The "ban" on bags is not a major inconvenience to me anyway as they are cheap and I've ordered enough for the next five years and can easily acquire more from the neighboring pro-liberty states when I need to. The issue to me is if they can do this, what is next? What else can these people do? Where do we draw the line? I seem to remember Ben Franklin warning us about "those who would sacrifice liberty...."
Tony Farley March 16, 2012 at 04:39 AM
Specifically Tim, I was referring to the latest law making its way through the Arizona Legislature where employers can fire women for using contraception. The idea that any states ban contraception is an issue you made up and is therefore not something I need to waste my time on. Nice try. You do have a knack for taking these discussions way off topic with your imaginary issues though, and there's always a couple people that take your bait. I find it pathetic that you get so upset about plastic bags but care so little about the true erosion of rights in this country.
Tim March 16, 2012 at 06:40 AM
because they won't be available any longer "for free" after January 1 and I will have to buy some type of bag won't I? How else will I empty the cat litter box? You won't let me dump it on your lawn. If I have to pay for plastic bags, this is the cheapest option at 2 cents per bag.
Tim March 16, 2012 at 06:46 AM
Tony, I suggest you try getting your news from some place other than MSLSD. Arizona House Bill 2625 does not allow for employers to "fire women for using contraception." It simply requires women who want to get "the pill" for FREE through their employer based health plan to prove that they need it for health reasons, and not contraception purposes. It just means that the employer shouldn't have to pay for her sex. I am personally against the bill because it requires women to provide proof to the employer which means showing private medical records. This isn't right as this should be confidential between the woman and her doctor(s). I do agree with the goal of the legislation though but I would just ask the woman to sign a non-binding statement saying that she needs "the pill" for health reasons without having to provide proof. The bottom line is that you are wrong (yet again) sir. Try educating yourself before commenting and sounding like a complete idiot. Also, in case it's not obvious to you, anyone can still get in AZ, any contraceptive device available in CA or anywhere else.... the issue again is who should pay for it. If it's not health related, why should employer based health insurance pay for it. Stop relying on other people to pay for your damn sex!!!!!!
Keith Barros March 16, 2012 at 07:28 AM
Maybe you could roll it up in free junk newspaper or regular newspaper if you subscribe.
Tim March 16, 2012 at 08:02 AM
Yea, uh, I am actually not anti-environmental. I have a degree in Environmental Science. I minimize my waste and recycle anything and everything I can. As such, I don't buy newspapers. I read my news online. I also would use my own reusable bags for groceries if I didn't have a need for the plastic bags. I just don't feel it's the governments job to regulate anything and everything. People that get caught littering need to be held accountable and charged like any other crime.
Keith Barros March 16, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Tim, You sound like a more reasonable guy after your last post about not being anti-environment. Hopefully, you feel the same way about me since my initial rant. I just think that using the recycled newspaper-type ads that come in the mail or on racks in stores and on the streets, would be a better alternative. I look at plastic bags kind of like the plastic bottles we pay a California redemption fee for. It creates a vested interest in the consumer to recycle. Plastic pollution may not yet be an issue in sparsely populated states, but with California's population, it certainly is here. Years ago we had to take the lead with auto emission control, and it was undeniably the right thing to do. I think this is, too.
John March 22, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Better to require biodegradable plastic bags. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodegradable_bags
John March 22, 2013 at 09:04 PM
Better to require biodegradable plastic bags. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodegradable_bags
Vargas March 22, 2013 at 11:33 PM
This is another bone head move by the dolts in government who have nothing better to do than to inconvenience everyone else. Remember, these are the pigs in government who use thousands of taxpayer dollars to travel the world on junkets. If you're against this ban call your Mayor and City Councilman and DEMAND that it be repealed. Don't ask, DEMAND it.
John March 23, 2013 at 02:53 AM
Too much concern about spreading Flu & other viruses. Let us have biodegradeable plastic bags as a more reasonable alternative. Contact: ["AYES: Biddle, Carson, Cutter, Freitas, Green, Henson, Kaplan, Keating, Landis, Natarajan, Sadoff, Sullivan, Tam, Turner, West, Wile, Wozniak" http://www.reusablebagsac.org/ordinancetext.html ] regarding revising the law. SPREAD OF FLU & PNEUMONIA VIRUSES IS SERIOUS! THIS LAW IS BEGGING FOR LAW SUITS! Revise the law by 2014.

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