Walnut Creek OKs plastic bag ban

City council votes to prohibit carryout plastic bags at retail stores and restaurants beginning later this year

Walnut Creek will be one of the next Bay Area cities to say goodbye to plastic bags.

The City Council voted 4-1 on Tuesday night to ban single-use carryout plastic bags at all retail stores and restaurants.

Customers will instead have the option of paying 10 to 25 cents for a paper bag or bringing their own reusable bags to shop.

Walnut Creek follows more than 90 cities and counties statewide that have implemented a plastic bag ban, including Contra Costa County cities such as Richmond and El Cerrito.

The ban will take effect for all stores in September and for all restaurants citywide in December.

City leaders first considered the idea of a plastic bag ban in 2010 and in October the City Council called on city staff to draft an ordinance prohibiting retailers from distributing plastic bags.

The idea was initially discussed after it was learned that plastic bags were a leading source of pollution in the city's streets and creek beds.

Retailers who do not comply with the ordinance may be fined $100 for a first violation, $200 for a second violation and $500 for a third and all following violations.

A few people voiced their opposition to the ban on Tuesday night, saying it will unduly burden residents.

But Rinta Perkins, who manages the city's Clean Water Program, said Tuesday that the "challenges are outweighed by the benefits of reducing litter and cleanup costs paid by taxpayers, preserving wildlife and protecting human health."

She also cited a survey among San Jose business owners and residents showing that 98 percent of that city's retailers have complied with the plastic bag ban enacted in 2012 and that the law drastically reduced plastic bag litter citywide.

— Bay City News Service


Posted by Judy, a resident of Danville
on Mar 6, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Wish other cities would follow the same .. Danville City Council - please listen!

Posted by Paul Andrews, a resident of Danville
on Mar 7, 2014 at 8:45 am

When Al Gore and all the other wackos get out of their private jets and schlep their own groceries talk to us. Alameda county has discovered this rule makes it so much easier for shoplifters who bring in a receipt and walk out with the freebies! Another lib law. No thanks.

Posted by Julia, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 7, 2014 at 11:11 am

The City Council of Walnut Creek are brain dead.

July you are not thinking with your brains...but I see why. You are from Danville..

Paul, you are absolutely correct...

Julia Pardini from the greatest community ever...Alamo...plastic bags and all.

Posted by Cynic, a resident of Danville
on Mar 7, 2014 at 11:11 am

This is so stupid!!!! How is this going to stop polutting? Paper bags pollute too. The paper bag manufacturers are popping the champagne. What a crock!

Posted by Judy, a resident of Danville
on Mar 7, 2014 at 5:03 pm

@cynic - heard of reusable bags, cloth bags. You are such a fool!
@julia - you have no credibility here, so just best for you to shut up.
@paul - your post makes very little sense.

Its just a matter of time, most cities will follow suit sooner or later.

Posted by Julia, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 7, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Judy you are so mislead.... you are a Danville person that dreams and dreams.

I am pleased you live in Danville.

It so like you Danville people...You all think you are right...You are all puppets.

Julia Pardini from Alamo..

Posted by Lynn, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 8, 2014 at 6:03 am

Does this mean ALL stores? I thought in Alameda County it is only stores that sell a certain % of food items. So even a store that sells no food, say only tennis shoes, cannot use plastic bags? I so wish the government would stay out of our lives in matters like this! Don't regulate the size of my soda, or my light bulbs and don't listen in on cell phones!

Posted by Louise, a resident of Danville
on Mar 10, 2014 at 3:05 pm

What's the big deal about carrying your own bags when you shop especially for groceries? Are we that lazy that we can't do that. They've done it in Europe for decades and they aren't suffering from poor diets or being too overweight. Americans are. Get a grip and quit whining.

Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 11, 2014 at 11:45 am

@judy & @louise -

Why is it you feel the need to impose your will on others? Why do you fear personal responsibility and require a nanny state for more & more?

Plastic bags don't cause obesity, irresponsible people do. I for one do not require your help, thanks but no thanks...

Posted by Judy, a resident of Danville
on Mar 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm

@Aubrey - see the thing is I have always taken reusable bags, drink soda maybe once a week, am not a big fan of processed food, etc. So such rules don't make a difference to me and I don't think government is controlling my life.

These rules benefit, all socio economic classes and demographics in the long run. Its called living a inclusive, progressive and responsible life. Not all about ME, ME ME!

Shutup and go cheer the CPAC morons!

Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 11, 2014 at 12:46 pm

@Judy - Let's get this straight, you already do it so enforcing YOUR beliefs on others via government is good as it is "for the greater good of society" and of course you know what's best for all. Sounds like it is all about YOU, YOU, YOU!

This is why progressives are seen as arrogant, resorting to name calling and insults as they know their arguments can't survive a true debate.

Thanks for the clarification...

Posted by Samuel, a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 12, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Judy is a koolaid drinking socialist ---- another Obama idiot.

Posted by Muir's Ghost, a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm

"This is why progressives are seen as arrogant, resorting to name calling and insults ..."

Yup -- that Samuel. Just another arrogant Progressive...

The problem with many disposables, including plastic bags, is their externalities -- the bad things they do after their intended use. That cost usually lands on somebody else, not the one-time user. The classic externality is pumping industrial waste into the river -- it's great for the manufacturer who avoids the costs of disposal, but we All pay for it in polluted water.

If one-time bag users could be counted-on to internalize the real cost, including proper reuse, recycling or disposal, fine -- but of course they can't be, and the evidence is everywhere you look. Users are trading planning for convenience -- but it's a bad trade for everybody else. Government's job is to minimize externalities, so that the costs fall where they ought-to.

Life is circular, not a one-way street. Does anyone seriously question the value of recycling, for instance? But I bet you moaned about it at first. Just think of this as recycling that you're not yet used-to.

Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 13, 2014 at 4:43 pm

You'd lose your bet, I never moaned about recycling. The CA redemption charge on beverage containers, that's another story.

My point is that government requiring that I bring my own grocery bags is ludicrous, as are all the nanny state laws the inundate us.

Posted by Muir's Ghost, a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Just remember, Aubrey, as you struggle with your hobgoblins -- not all consistencies are foolish.

Especially this one. You could think of it as precycling. It's a good idea, despite your inability to engage as to why that's so.

Posted by Judy, a resident of Danville
on Mar 13, 2014 at 6:21 pm

@Aubrey - feel sorry for you as you continue holding on to your guns, bible and now, plastic bags!

Posted by Aubrey, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 13, 2014 at 6:41 pm

@Judy - I don't possess a bible, just an independent, rational mind. I feel sorry for you that you need the state to guide you or force/reinforce your personal beliefs. But then again, it is all about you, you, you...

Posted by Muir's Ghost, a resident of another community
on Mar 14, 2014 at 7:19 am

So much goodwill and empathy flowing in all directions! Makes me want to capture some of it in a re-usable container.

From Web Link

"Americans throw away almost 100 billion plastic bags every year, and only 1 percent to 3 percent are ever recycled."

Or, if you prefer, Nat Geo: Web Link

Please feast your rational minds on the evidence, and keep a few re-usables in your trunk.

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