Tag Archives: Local ordinance

Ventura City Council Votes To Proceed With Plastic Bag Ban

Ventura City Hall
Ventura City Hall (Photo credit: InSapphoWeTrust)

On 16 December 2013, the Ventura City Council voted 6 to 1 to go ahead and prepare a Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance and BEACON EIR addendum for consideration in six months by the City Council.   The council also voted to support the efforts of State Senator Padilla to pass a bill to institute a statewide single-use carryout bag law rather than a local ordinance.

Currently there are two bills going through the California State Legislature concerning plastic carryout bags.  SB-405 is authored by State Senator Padilla and AB-158 by Assembly member Levine.  Both bills appear to have started out with the same text which is being marked up as the bills goes through the different committees in their respective houses.

The full article can be read by clicking the following link: Ventura City Council Votes To Proceed With Plastic Bag Ban Preparation.

Bag Bans – Market Driven Solutions Superior

The movement to ban plastic carryout bags is growing as more and more California communities enact single-use bag ordinances.  These ordinances are very similar to one another and go beyond banning plastic carryout bags to implementing a very specific solution.   This solution attempts to change the shopping paradigm where shoppers supply their own reusable bags rather than receive store supplied disposable bags to carry their purchases.  To ensure that consumer behavior is changed, retailers are required by the local ordinance to charge a minimum fee for each paper bag issued. 

By implementing a specific solution, mandated by the government, innovation is stifled and businesses are no longer free to pursue alternative solutions that are in their best interests.  Government officials and their staffs simply do not have the expertise and time to investigate alternative solutions to solve the underlying problem or have the motivation to improve retailer customer service, therefore the government mandated solution locks an inadequate and antiquated solution into place.  Furthermore, freedom of choice on both the part of retailers and consumers is unnecessarily sacrificed, restricted, and infringed.

To read more, click on the following link: Bag Bans – Market Driven Solutions Superior.

Plastic Bag Ban Creates New Administrative Regulatory Burdens

Local ordinances that implement plastic carryout bag bans are very similar from one community to the next.  The ordinances ban the distribution of plastic carryout bags and impose a fee of 10 or 25-cents on paper bags to discourage paper bag use and encourage the use of reusable shopping bags.

In addition to regulating bag use, the ordinances have annual or quarterly reporting provisions that require stores in the jurisdiction and subject to the ordinance to report the number of paper carryout bags issued and the amount of money collected for providing paper carryout bags.  In addition the store must summarize the efforts undertaken to promote the use of reusable bags in the previous quarter.   In other words, a new regulatory burden is created for the store that adds to the cost of doing business.  The regulatory burden continues indefinitely or until the ordinance is no longer in effect or until the city directs that quarterly reporting cease.

On the city’s side, the quarterly reports must processed and evaluated and statistics developed to determine if the goals of the ordinance are being met.  Of course, annual reports to the city manager and the city council will also be made.  In addition, there are inspections of stores to determine that they are indeed complying with the ordinance. 

Every store that is regulated by the ordinance will experience an increase in regulatory costs, which will have to be recovered from customers through higher food and merchandise prices. 

In addition, the jurisdiction that implemented the Plastic Bag Ban will also incur thousands of dollars of costs annually in order to administer the ordinance.  To spend thousands of taxpayer dollars to administer an ordinance that controls the type of bags residents use to carry groceries home from the supermarket is wasteful and plain stupid.  Those tax dollars could be better spent fixing pot holes on city streets.