Dana Point, Calif., has become the 67th community in the U.S. — and the 42nd in California — to ban single-use plastic carryout bags.
The Dana Point plastic bag ban, approved at a third reading March 6, will go into effect April 1, 2013. It does not include a fee on paper bags, as do many of the other plastic bag bans in the U.S. It also was modified at its final reading to exempt restaurants from the ban after the threat of a lawsuit by the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition.
Altogether, 55 cities and 12 counties in the U.S. have adopted plastic bag bans, including Austin, Texas, the nation's 14th-largest city, which last week adopted a plastic bag ban that will go into effect March 1, 2013.
In addition, Montgomery County, Md., and Washington, D.C., have a 5-cent fee on plastic bags handed out at retail, and Basalt, Colo., has a 20-cent fee on plastic bags.
The Dana Point plastic bag ban won't apply to businesses in the city with sales of less than $4 million until Oct. 1, 2013 — six months after it goes into effect for all other businesses in Dana Point. That city has a population of around 33,000.
Austin, with a population of 790,000, is the largest city outside California to enact a bag ban. The Austin ban means that three of the 14 largest cities in the U.S., including San Jose at No. 10 and San Francisco at 13 — have banned plastic bags.
Seattle and Portland, Ore. — the 23rd- and 29th-largest cities in the U.S. — also have plastic bag bans.
The Austin ban does not apply to laundry dry-cleaning bags, door-knob hanger bags, newspaper bags, or bags used for bulk food or other grocery items. The Austin law allows retailers to provide single-use plastic bags for restaurant carryout items, prescription drugs and beer, wine and spirits.