WASHINGTON (Dec. 9, 11:55 a.m. ET) — Two more communities, on opposite ends of the United States, have banned single-use plastic carryout bags.
Sunnyvale, Calif., has banned plastic bags, starting next June 20, and Rye, N.Y., has passed a similar ban that will go into effect May 7.
The Sunnyvale ban, approved 5-1 at its first reading Dec. 6, is expected to pass again at its second reading Dec. 20. The ban will apply first to supermarkets that are larger than 10,000 square feet and then to all retailers in the city, starting in March 2013. Restaurants and non-profitable charitable organizations are excluded from the ban.
The Sunnyvale law also requires retailers to charge 10 cents for any paper bags that they hand out to customers. That fee for paper bags will increase to 25 cents in 2014. The Save the Plastic Bag Coalition has said it will file a lawsuit against the ban within 30 days after it is approved at the second reading.
In addition, Bisbee, Ariz., has enacted a voluntary plastic bag reduction ordinance, and the city said that if the voluntary effort to reduce plastic bags does not succeed in six months, it will recommend a ban on plastic bags at retailers with $1 million or more in sales, and a mandatory five-cent fee on paper bags.
Altogether, 33 U.S. communities have enacted plastic bag bans, and three have placed fees on plastic bags at checkout.