Plastic Bag Ban Spreads to Richmond, Ft Bragg

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    MANHATTAN BEACH, CA - AUGUST 21: The wind blows a plastic bag around the beach near the Manhattan Beach Pier on August 21, 2008 in the Los Angeles area city of Manhattan Beach, California. A group of about 10 plastic manufacturers and retailers calling themselves the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition has filed suit against the city of Manhattan Beach over a ban on plastic bags given out by stores. Ironically, the group is asking a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge to block the ban on grounds that the city violated the California Environmental Quality Act by not fully analyzing the environmental effects of such a ban. The ban comes on the heels of a policy recently approved by the Los Angeles City Council to ban plastic bags in their city by 2010 if the state does not impose a 25-cent fee on shoppers who request plastics carrying bags. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

    Plastic bag bans are gaining steam, with Richmond and Fort Bragg both considering measures to reduce bag-related pollution.

    Fort Bragg's City Council unanimously asked for an environmental impact report on such a ban this week, according to the Press Democrat.

    In Richmond, a community meeting drew a dozen interested members of the public as the city demonstrated that plastic bags choke its infrastructure.

    Each city's ban is slightly different. Fort Bragg's considering laws that would ban bags at most stores, and charge a fee for paper bags. Customers would not be charged if they brought their own bags.

    Richmond is still hammering out the terms of its ban, and is asking residents what an appropriate fee for non-reusable bags would be, according to Richmond Confidential.

    The plastic bag industry staunchly opposes measures that would cut into their bottom line, but as evidence mounts that the bans are beneficial, more cities are taking steps to give plastic bags the boot.

    Bag manufacturers say that paper bags take up more landfill space. That may be true, but they can also be recycled, where as plastic bags generally cannot.

    Meanwhile, in San Francisco, a survey shows that consumers are confused by recycling rules, and frequently throw items in the incorrect bin. An "ecofinder" tool that explains where trash should go is so confusing, hardly anyone uses it.