SACRAMENTO, CA – A proposed ordinance would require supermarkets and large pharmacies located in unincorporated areas of Sacramento County to phase out plastic bags and replace them with recyclable or reusable bags.
Supervisor Roger Dickinson said on Monday that his proposed ordinance targets single use, non-recyclable shopping bags that often end up in landfills or as litter in the environment. Those types of bags are generally the thin “t-shirt” plastic bags.
“Every year, it’s estimated there are 19 billion, 19 billion, plastic bags that are disseminated in the state of California alone,” said Dickinson, who said the use of recyclable or reusable bags would go a long way toward helping the environment.
The ordinance is similar to a law in San Francisco that bans plastic bags in larger grocery stores and pharmacies.
Opponents of the proposed ordinance said educating the public about recycling would be better than a plastic bag ban.
“San Francisco banned plastic grocery bags. The end result was more people using paper bags. Paper bags have an extreme impact on the environment. They require more energy to use, more trucks to deliver the same amount of product,” said Tim Shestek of the American Chemical Council.
Dickinson said he hopes the ordinance would encourage more people to shop with reusuable bags or totes.