EIR Release Wraps Plastic Bag Ban Impacts Together

A draft of the proposed Environmental Impact Report is released, a document San Mateo County will use to assist cities - including Campbell - who want to ban single-use bags.

A movement to ban plastic bags at retail stores in the County of San Mateo and 24 other cities in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties - including Campbell - continues to move forward.

San Mateo County has released a draft of a mandated Environmental Impact Report, which assesses the impact the proposed Single Use Bag Ban Ordinance would create. Once the EIR is complete - expected in October 2012 - the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will vote on whether or not to approve the ordinance.

The proposal is meant to eliminate single-use bags. Restaurants would be excluded from the ban. Additionally, produce bags and bags that hold prescription medication would be exempted.

If passed by the Supervisors, the ordinance would impose a 10 cent fee for for each recycled paper and reusable bag distributed by stores at the point of sale until Dec. 31, 2014; beginning January 1, 2015, the charge would increasee to 25 cents per paper bag.

According to the San Mateo County Health Department website:

  • 20 billion single-use plastic grocery bags are used every year in California.
  • Most end up in landfills, or as litter on land and in water. 
  • Researchers have well-documented the harmful impact to our environment and wildlife caused by one-use plastic bags.
  • Plastic never biodegrades; instead it breaks down into smaller and smaller particles that seep into our soil and water.
  • A study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that only 4.3 percent of bags end up being recycled and a single-use paper bag has an even larger greenhouse gas emission than plastic bags.

A single public hearing on the draft report of the EIR will be held by the San Mateo County Planning Commission on July 11 at 9:00  a.m. in 400 County Center in Redwood City.

You are also encouraged to submit written comments to envhealth@smcgov.org through the close of business on Aug. 6.

Here's a rundown of the cities in the two counties participating in the EIR:

San Mateo County

  • Brisbane
  • Belmont
  • Burlingame
  • Colma
  • Daly City
  • East Palo Alto
  • Foster City
  • Half Moon Bay
  • Menlo Park
  • Millbrae
  • Pacifica
  • Portola Valley
  • Redwood City
  • San Bruno
  • San Carlos
  • San Mateo
  • South San Francisco
  • Woodside

Santa Clara County

  • Campbell 
  • Cupertino
  • Los Gatos
  • Los Altos
  • Milpitas
  • Mountain View


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »