Belmont Introduces Reusable Bag Ordinance

If adopted, the ordinance will go into effect in April.

[Editor's Note: The following information was provided by the Belmont City Manager, Greg Scoles, in his Weekly Update. To read the entire update, or to read past issues, click here.]

In November, the Belmont City Council introduced Belmont’s Reusable Bag Ordinance.

A public hearing and second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for the January 8, 2013 city council meeting. If adopted, the ordinance will become effective on April 22, 2013 (Earth Day).

The intent of the ordinance is to reduce the environmental impacts related to single-use carryout bags and to promote the use of reusable bags. The ordinance will regulate the distribution of paper and plastic single-use carryout bags by all retail establishments in Belmont, including those selling clothing, food, and personal items directly to the customer. It would not apply to restaurants or non-profit charitable reuse organizations.

Earlier this year, the County of San Mateo led a regional effort on this issue. The County Board of Supervisors adopted a Model Reusable Bag Ordinance in October and certified an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for this project which covered 18 jurisdictions in San Mateo County (including Belmont) and six jurisdictions in Santa Clara County.

Both Belmont and the County of San Mateo will be conducting outreach to retail businesses in advance of the effective date of the ordinance.

Mike Swire December 06, 2012 at 06:00 AM
Hi Kristy, Some stores have offered incentives in the past but they have been unsuccessful in increasing reusable bag adoption above 20% or so. Belmont retailers have not voiced any public opposition to the ordinance. In fact, the California Grocers Association has been a leader in supporting similar ordinances statewide. Given the County wide approach, all retailers on the Peninsula will be playing by the same rules. Mike
Concerned Belmont Taxpayer December 06, 2012 at 06:15 AM
The bag ordinance is fine with me. All these bags just end up as one massive blob out in the Pacific Ocean somewhere....so I think I will be able to adapt. Also, I think the styrofoam ordinance was a good one as well. I don't think either of these ordinances infringe on anyone's personal rights, so I am for them. Having said that, I do not agree with every ordinance in Belmont. The bag and styrofoam are fine with me..
Sheila December 07, 2012 at 03:48 AM
It's about time! Just one question, will plastic be available/allowed for chicken/beef so it doesn't leak on other foods? If so, will there be a free?
Gladwyn d'Souza December 07, 2012 at 05:20 AM
It's the single use take out bags at the check out counter that are banned. Those item plastic bags are still allowed in the meats and vegetable isle. Free. Stores like Lunardi and Bianchini Market use paper for the meats and fish. At one point everyone used the butcher paper.
Webmaster December 08, 2012 at 12:31 PM
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