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Marin County Looking to Ban Plastic Bags

Marin County Looking to Ban Plastic Bags

Editor’s Note: The wonderful trend continues, as more and more cities have put bans on plastic bags in place, and other areas follow suit. This post originally appeared on Plastic Pollution Coalition.

On January 4th, the Marin County Board of Supervisors will vote on a single-use bag ordinance. While it’s certainly not the first of such ordinances to be considered, particularly in California, it is unique in one important way:  Marin County plans to rely on a categorical exemption to CEQA (click here for more info) and not prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

The City of Oakland attempted a similar approach last year and lost a lawsuit challenging its ordinance on the grounds that it had not done an EIR. In Oakland’s case, however, the city’s bag ordinance simply banned plastic bags.

Marin County’s ordinance includes a ban on plastic carryout bags and 5-cent charge on paper bags.  County supervisors believe that by imposing a charge on paper bags in addition to banning plastic bags, the ordinance neutralizes the argument that if consumers just switch to paper it can be as bad or worse for the environment than plastic, and thus also bypasses the need for an EIR.

Since most cities and counties view EIRs as a mandatory part of passing a bag ban, and the reports can potentially cost tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars for each municipality, other cities will be closely watching what happens in Marin. No doubt the American Chemistry Council will be watching as well.

Related Stories: 

Ban the Plastic Bag Rap (VIDEO)

BREAKING: LA County Bans Plastic Bags

Mexico City Bans Plastic Bags


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Photo credit: wikimedia commons

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7:51PM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

At the risk of sounding like a Rush-head, ditto to Ruth's comment.

7:47PM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

Good for Marin County.

12:34AM PST on Mar 3, 2011

This was a catalyst for me!

9:43AM PST on Jan 8, 2011

this is awesome, more and more places are banning plastic bags

12:15AM PST on Jan 6, 2011


12:15AM PST on Jan 6, 2011


12:14AM PST on Jan 6, 2011

signed. thanks

12:13AM PST on Jan 6, 2011


3:46PM PST on Jan 5, 2011

Lets follow this lead in each of our communities!

12:35PM PST on Jan 5, 2011

If the whole country of Italy is willing to do it then I don't see why 1 county can't!

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