The City Council of Palo Alto, California, last week plans to ban single-use plastic checkout bags as well as imposed a fee on single use paper check out bags from large supermarkets effective September 18, 2009.
The City Council said their Bring Your Own Bag campaign conducted between April 1, 2008 and January 31, 2009 had been successful in changing consumer behavior at large supermarkets. A survey was said to have found the use of reusable bags doubled over the timeframe of the program from 9% to 19% of customers. Those taking no bag increased from 7.6% to 16.2%.
“Palo Alto now concludes that the community carbon dioxide emissions total from grocery store checkout bag use immediately after implementation will decrease to 169 metric tons/year.” – City Council, Palo Alto, California
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) released a statement saying the City Council’s action will mean many fewer places will be available for those in Palo Alto to bring their plastic bags, dry cleaning bags, plastic newspaper bags, and numerous other plastic wraps for recycling.
“The City’s action potentially creates a crater in statewide recycling efforts because grocery stores otherwise required by state law to offer recycling will no longer be required do so.”- ACC