San Luis Obispo County Bag Ban


Chapter: San Luis Obispo
State: CA
Country: USA
Theme: Plastic Pollution
Launch Date: November 07 2011
Completion Date: January 11 2012
Status: Victory

In an effort to reduce waste, the SLO County Integrated Waste Management Authority is considering an ordinance to curb the use of single-use carryout bags. The SLO Chapter of Surfrider Foundation is working to support this effort, which will also prevent and reduce plastic marine pollution. On January 11, 2012 IWMA Board had a 'super vote' for the first time in their history and a super majority of board members passed one of the first countywide plastic bag bans in the U.S. This one covers both the unincorporated areas and all incorporated cities in the county. The ordinance bans 'single-use/disposable checkout bags' and puts a 10 cent fee on paper bags, which is a great way to help people remember their reusable bags. There was a wide variety of support from environmental groups such as Surfrider Foundation, SLO Coastkeeper and Sierra Club along with business interests such as the California Grocers Association, SLO Chamber of Commerce and the local waste hauler. It was a six year process with lots of research, public input and public hearings. Late in the process opposition and special interest groups tried some scare tactics in a last ditch effort to save the plastic bag. Fortunately the board saw through their veiled threats and questionable claims.