Today, July 19th – San Diego City Council Will Vote on Plastic Bag Ban

by on July 19, 2016 · 3 comments

in Culture, Environment, Health, History, Organizing, Politics, San Diego

plastic bag windIf Ordinance Passes, San Diego Will Become 150th Jurisdiction in California Covered by Ban

Most of Following From Surfrider Foundation

Today at 2pm – July 19th –  the San Diego City Council will vote on their Single-Use Carryout Bag Reduction Ordinance, or “bag ban”.

This will happen at 2 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall, 202 C St, 12th Floor, San Diego CA 92101. Activists from Surfrider San Diego are urging caring San Diegans to attend this hearing.

If the ordinance passes, San Diego will become the 150th jurisdiction in the state of California to be covered by a ban.

In the City of San Diego, 700 million plastic carryout bags are distributed each year and less than 3% are recycled. This ordinance will remove 665 million plastic carryout bags from distribution and San Diego will take a huge step in reducing plastic pollution at its source and ultimately protecting our ocean and beaches.

plastic bag ban logoThe ordinance will prohibit the distribution of plastic single-use carryout bags and paper single-use carryout bags that do not qualify as “recyclable paper single-use carryout bags” to point-of-sale customers at stores subject to the ordinance.

The ordinance also requires stores to charge a $0.10 for each recyclable paper single-use carryout bag and each reusable carryout bag provided to customers at point-of-sale. This small fee will help to ensure that waste is reduced and single-use plastic bags are not simply being replaced by other paper bags on a one-for-one basis.

To date, there are 120 bag ban ordinances covering 149 jurisdictions in California.


In October 2013, the City of San Diego’s Rules and Economic Development Committee voted unanimously to direct city staff to draft an ordinance for a plastic bag ban. A vote was expected by the summer of 2014 after an environmental review process.

However, in February 2014, interim Mayor Faulconer put the environmental review process on hold citing that the California state legislature was considering a bag ban and that he wanted to wait to see if the state ban passed in order to save taxpayers money on the environmental review process.

It passed and was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2014.

However, to the dismay of environmentalists up and down the state, the plastic bag industry spent over $3 million to gather enough signatures to stall the state bag ban and put a referendum on the November 2016 ballot.

In the wake of this news, in February 2015, the Mayor’s office directed city staff and spent the resources to move forward with their own.

The Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter has been advocating for a bag ban since 2008 and fully supports implementation of this ordinance.

The Surfrider Foundation is a volunteer driven non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of our oceans, waves and beaches. As such, we have a vested interest in this issue and experience first-hand the negative impacts of plastic bag litter on our beaches and in our ocean.

Surfrider contacts:

  • Roger Kube| Surfrider Foundation | (619) 701-4027|
  • Michael Torti| Surfrider Foundation | (619) 843-0123 |




{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie July 19, 2016 at 8:22 pm

Great news: A ban on plastic shopping bags was tentatively approved by the San Diego City Council Tuesday, making it the 150th jurisdiction in the state of California to pass such a law.

The Single Use Carryout Bag Reduction Ordinance was passed 6-3, with Councilmen Scott Sherman, Mark Kersey and Chris Cate casting the dissenting votes.


Lyle July 20, 2016 at 8:22 am

Why “tentatively” ? People might want to know where to lobby if further approvals are required.


fumar banton July 22, 2016 at 2:21 pm

The plastic bag ban scam. Nothing goes to reduce litter not even the fee. People will now buy thicker prepackaged plastic to replace what the free bag used to do. Stores will even sell you a thicker plastic bag and call it reusable. The canvas bag option has to be reused over 100 times to equal the footprint of a plastic bag used twice. Most people forget them, don’t wash them and throw them away because they can’t be recycled. Plastic is sanitary, reusable and recyclable. This is just a money maker. Just look who funds these special interest. It is the corporate grocer. South Africa has had a ban for years. Still dirty but now it sells 8 billion plastic bags a year.


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