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