August 14, 2012

Statewide Bag Ban Vote coming up!!

Ban The Bag California!

Support Assembly Bill 298 to reduce plastic pollution!

The California State Legislature is considering a bill that would ban plastic checkout bags at supermarkets, retail pharmacies and convenience stores statewide starting in 2014. Assembly Bill 298 would also require those retailers to provide reusable bags for sale and charge a fee for recycled paper bags as an incentive for customers to remember their reusable bags. California could be the first in the nation to pass a statewide plastic bag ban but it won’t happen without your support!

Our California coasts are valuable drivers of a tourism industry worth billions of dollars and thousands of jobs in our state. It is important to have sound policies to keep our beaches clean and maintain healthy ecosystems. In fact, over 50 local jurisdictions in California have already seen the importance of this action and banned plastic bags. Please let your State Senator know you support this legislation and a phasing out of plastic checkout bags statewide!

August 19, 2011 | 1 Comment

What will we do without free plastic bags?!

Here’s some decidedly entertaining ideas:



July 14, 2011

California Supreme Court rules in fight over plastic bags

from the Sacramento Bee:

Anti-plastic-bag forces got a boost today when the California Supreme Court ruled that an environmental impact report is not necessary before a city or county bans the use of plastic shopping bags.

The decision strikes down rulings by trial and appellate courts in Los Angeles in the legal fight over an ordinance enacted in 2008 by the south coastal city of Manhattan Beach banning “point-of-sale plastic carry-out bags.”

Both courts said the city had to prepare an EIR before implementing its ban.

“We disagree,” a unanimous Supreme Court stated. “Substantial evidence and common sense support the city’s determination that its ordinance would have no significant environmental effect.”

Therefore, the court added, the city’s unilateral declaration of no negative impact “was sufficient to comply with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act.”

In the much-anticipated opinion, the high court, as did the two lower courts, upheld the right of a group of manufacturers and distributors called Save The Plastic Bag Coalition to sue Manhattan Beach over the ordinance.

The court said it disapproves of a 2000 state appellate decision holding that corporations are subject to heightened scrutiny when they file citizen suits. Besides, the justices added, Save The Plastic Bag Coalition, “which represents businesses directly affected by the Manhattan Beach ordinance, has standing in its own right to challenge the city’s analysis of environmental impacts.”

The case has been closely watched by numerous California cities and counties that have or are considering similar measures. San Francisco led the way in 2007 with the nation’s first citywide ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags at supermarkets and chain drugstores.

April 13, 2011

Plastic Bag Ban on HWMA agenda, Thursday night!

Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance at HWMA Tomorrow!

Join us at the Humboldt Waste Management Authority Board meeting tomorrow, Thursday, April 14th, at 6:30 PM at Eureka City Hall Council Chambers (5th and K St., Eureka) where they will be reviewing a county-wide plastic bag ban! We have been working with Baykeeper to show public support for a county-wide ban and need you to come out and show your support to the HWMA Board!

The plastic bag ordinance will be set-up buffet-style for each city within Humboldt County and we will ask for your support in the future to join us at your city council meeting to encourage the adoption of a plastic bag ban and paper bag fee.

January 27, 2011 | 1 Comment

The Bag Getting Banned

Congratulations to Marin County and Santa Monica for passing single-use plastic bag bans!

And more good news: a bill has been introduced into the Oregon State Legislature to bag these pesky bags, that are disposable but not biodegradable.

Join the crusade and help Surfrider with our efforts to push for a local plastic bag ban!

November 18, 2010

Arcata Makes A Motion to Ban Plastic Bags!

Great movement in Arcata!

Last night at the Arcata City Council meeting a motion was made to affirm support for the concept of a local plastic bag ban and the city staff was directed to work with Humboldt Waste Management Authority (HWMA) to develop an ordinance and EIR. If HWMA is not timely enough (meaning in the first few months of next year), Arcata wants to take the issue up again and move forward on their own.

Here is an article in today’s Times-Standard about last night’s meeting.

Some quotes and comments from last night:

Councilmember Shane Brinton: “I see this as an opportunity for Arcata to be a regional leader in a way that we are known to be and that we should continue to be.”
More Details

November 17, 2010

“Plastic State Of Mind”

TONIGHT! Come to the Arcata City Council meeting to support a local single-use plastic bag ban! The Council will be discussion the current state of their consideration. The meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. and because there is not much on the agenda, we recommend coming at the beginning.


Along the same lines, check out this new video! This is a great contribution to the cause of reducing our disposable plastic footprint.


November 16, 2010

Los Angeles County Bans Plastic Bags

By Associated Press
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 – Added 1 hour ago

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County has voted to ban stores from using single-use plastic bags.

County supervisors approved the measure Tuesday in hopes of preventing billions of bags from polluting neighborhoods and waterways.

The ordinance bans stores from giving customers single-use plastic bags and would require them to charge 10 cents for each paper bag beginning next year.

Supporters clapped and cheered the decision. Opponents, however, say they are concerned that jobs will be lost and residents in poorer neighborhoods will struggle with fees for paper and reusable bags.

© Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
November 11, 2010

Grocery bag bill drew heavy out-of-state lobbying

By Susan Ferriss
Published: Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010 – 8:04 am

Out-of-state interests working to defeat a bill to ban plastic bags were among the top spenders on lobbying to influence California legislators’ votes this summer.

South Carolina-based plastic bag manufacturer, Hilex Poly Co., was the state’s second-biggest spender, paying about $1.08 million for lobbying activities between July 1 and Sept. 30.

Number four on the list was the Virginia-based American Chemistry Council, of which Hilex is a member.

Both Hilex and the council joined forces in a furious effort to defeat a bill that would have made California the first state to ban plastic grocery carry-out bags.

The chemistry council spent more than $942,000 on lobbying during this same period, according to the most recent reports filed with the California Secretary of State’s Office.

Together, the council and Hilex invested more than $2 million in lobbying just as legislators were ending their session this year on Aug. 31.
More Details

November 3, 2010

T-S: Humboldt County supervisors asking Humboldt Waste Management Authority to look at plastic bag ban

Donna Tam/The Times-Standard
Posted: 11/03/2010 01:51:28 AM PDT

After a visit from the “plastic bag monster” on Tuesday morning, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted to reaffirm its support for a single-use plastic bag ban.

The board voted 4-0, directing staff to include the issue on the county’s legislative platform and work with the Humboldt Waste Management Authority to develop a countywide program prohibiting the use of single-use plastic bags. Supervisor Jimmy Smith was absent.

Surfrider Humboldt gave a presentation to the board, highlighting the environmental hazards of plastic bags.

”Plastic bags have a way of sneaking out of our garbage bins and even our landfills,” Surfrider member Colleen Clifford said. “They end up on the roads and getting entangled in shrubs, and they eventually make their way into our watershed.”

The presentation included a visit from the “plastic bag monster,” a woman covered in 500 plastic bags to illustrate the average American’s annual collection of plastic shopping bags.

Fourth District Supervisor Bonnie Neely said she favored having the Humboldt Waste Management Authority look at the ordinance first, since its board includes representatives from all municipalities in the county.

HWMA Director Jim Test said with the upcoming holidays, the next available meeting for a Surfrider presentation would most likely be in January.

Fifth District Supervisor Jill Duffy said she hopes a ban of this nature could extend to all plastics eventually, not just grocery store shopping bags.

”If we’re going to take a look at plastics and packaging, let’s see what we can do to really have a comprehensive push and what the long term looks like,” she said.

In another matter, the board approved amendments to an ordinance related to solid waste contracts.


Donna Tam can be reached at 441-0532 or

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