MONTEREY, CALIF. (Nov. 4, 1:30 p.m. ET) — Monterey is on its way to joining the growing list of California communities with bans on single-use plastic carryout bags, and its neighbor on the Monterey Peninsula — the city of Pacific Grove — also is looking into whether a ban makes sense there.
In addition, the city of Marina — nine miles north of Monterey — has banned polystryene takeout containers, increasing the number of California communities with PS bans to more than 50.
The Monterey ban on plastic bags passed its first reading Nov. 1 and will have a second reading Nov. 15; it is expected to face little opposition. That ban would go into effect Feb. 12 and requiries grocery store to charge a 10-cent fee on paper bags starting in mid-April, escalating to 25 cents in mid-July. The city does not get any of the revenue from the fee. There is an exemption for restaurants and take-out food operations that derive 90 percent or more of their revenues from food.
Pacific Grove's action on plastic bags won't come until next year; the city plans to discuss the possible ban at a community meeting, most likely in January.
Marina's ban on PS food-service takeout ware, approved at a second reading Nov. 1, applies to items such as plates, bowls, trays, cups and hinged containers. It does not apply to single-use straws, cup lids, or utensils.
In addition, Marina will require food providers in the city that use disposable food-service ware to use biodegradable, compostable or recyclable products unless there is no affordable alternative available.
The law will go into effect Dec. 1 and urges immediate voluntary compliance, but it delays enforcement until May 1 to give retailers time to clear existing stock.
Similar PS bans in the Monterey area have been enacted by Monterey County, Seaside, Pacific Grove and Del Rey Oaks.