Southern California environment news and trends

Plastic bag ban brings paper bag tax proposal to Millbrae

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The California plastic bag wars continue to heat up, this time in the city of Millbrae. A new city proposal would slap a 10-cent charge on paper bags provided by stores after joining cities like Long Beach, Malibu and Manhattan Beach in banning the use of plastic bags.

Like those other cities, Millbrae is looking to reduce the litter that inevitably comes from single-use plastic bags by encouraging that consumers utilize reusable shopping totes, of which there are many to choose from in the retail world. But the proposed 10-cent fee on paper bags is not sitting well with everyone, particularly the businesses that would be affected.

“We agree with the concept of reducing single-use bags from an environmental perspective,” Millbrae Chamber of Commerce President John Ford told the Millbrae Patch. “But we don’t necessarily think that charging people for paper bags is the best thing to do right now.”


Sustainable garden planned for Manhattan Beach post office

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In an effort to encourage sustainability and water conservation, the Manhattan Beach city council has approved a new sustainable garden to be installed in front of the post office at 15th Street and Valley Drive. The update is not without controversy, however, as the landscape renovation will require the removal of two 30-year-old trees. (The city’s arborist, on top of having a really cool job, has determined that one of the trees is already dead and the other is diseased and dying).

Started by the Manhattan Beach Environmental Task Force and continued by Leadership Manhattan Beach, a non-profit community organization, the $20,000 renovation will feature more sustainable foliage like deer grass and coffee berry. A new drip irrigation system looks to reduce the garden’s water usage by as much as 70%.