Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

San Mateo County ready to ban plastic bags

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Taking a cue from the current battle being waged in San Francisco over plastic bags, San Mateo Country is arranging for an outside firm to conduct a full environmental impact report before moving forward on their own bag-banning legislation.

As we reported earlier this week, a coalition of plastic bag manufacturers filed suit against San Francisco for adopting an ordinance outlawing the use of plastic bags at most retail establishments. The Save The Plastic Bag Coalition is suing on the grounds that the city did so without conducting an environmental study and claiming exemption.

According to the Mercury News, the initial San Mateo draft ban would only apply to establishments in unincorporated areas, but a wide range of cities in the county have already said they would be open to considering similar bans.

“We’re very pleased,” said Dean Peterson, San Mateo County’s environmental health director. “It is a regional issue, so doing this regionally is the only way we can really envision a world with less plastic."

Peterson also said that the study could get started before the end of this month, and shouldn’t cost the county more than $50,000.

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