Plastic Bag Ordinance being presented to City Council Monday, May 13, 2013

City of Culver City
City Council Agenda Item:

Introduction of
Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance
and Adoption of
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Determination

 

The proposed ordinance proposes to ban the issuance of plastic single-use carryout bags (excluding product and produce bags) and requires that covered stores impose a minimum 10 cent charge on each recyclable paper carryout bag. These charges are retained by the stores. Low income customers participating in either the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) or in the CalFresh/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are exempted from these charges.

The proposed ordinance covers the following types of stores (approx. 72 retailers in Culver City are anticipated to meet these criteria):

1. A full-line, self-service retail store with gross annual sales of two million dollars ($2,000,000), or more, that sells a line of dry grocery, canned goods, or non-food items and some perishable items; or,

2. A store of at least 10,000 square feet of retail space that generates sales or use tax and that has a pharmacy; or

3. A drug store, pharmacy, supermarket, grocery store, convenience food store, food mart, or other entity engaged in the retail sale of a limited line of goods that includes milk, bread, soda, and snack foods, including those stores with a license issued by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

In order to allow sufficient time for businesses to use up their existing inventory of bags and to adjust to the requirements of the proposed ordinance, its implementation is proposed to be phased in. Larger stores will be given six months from the effective date of the proposed ordinance (approximately 210 days after the date of adoption of the proposed ordinance by the City Council) to comply, whereas smaller stores will be given twelve months from the effective date of the proposed ordinance (approximately 395 days after the date of adoption of the proposed ordinance by the City Council).

The proposed ordinance is very similar to the Los Angeles County Ordinance. The minor modifications that are proposed include:

1) Requiring retailers to post signage clearly indicating the per bag charge for recyclable paper carryout bags so customers are not surprised by the charges.

2) Replacing the quarterly reporting requirement with a requirement that stores keep records and make them available to the City upon request. This should reduce the reporting burden on stores and staff time required for oversight.

3) Specifying a minimum charge of 10 cents rather than a charge of exactly 10 cents. This will allow stores flexibility to charge more than 10 cents for each recyclable paper bag, recognizing that some stores may pay more than 10 cents for the bags they provide to customers.

4) Enabling the minimum 10 cent charge to be increased by resolution. This change will make it easier for the City Council to raise the charge if it elects to do so at a future date (for example, if the minimum 10 cent charge is no longer effective at achieving the desired reductions in bag use due to inflation or other factors).

5) Changing the effective date of the proposed ordinance and the account for depositing fines.

 

The notifcation sent out to residents:

Announcement of Ordinance

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