A lot of cities in California are going the eco-friendly way by implementing a ban on use of plastic bags. Martinez is also considering the same. It has doubled up on this eco-friendly idea by also considering a ban on food and drink containers made from polystyrene foam.

Prohibiting the Use of Plastic Bags and Foam Containers to Keep the Environment Clean

The city council staff has proposed an ordinance which prohibits the distribution of one-time use plastic bags in retail as well as commercial businesses. This ordinance, if passed, will be applicable on book, clothing, grocery, convenience, and liquor stores. Retailers will have to charge a minimum fee of 10 cents to customers who use the paper bags provided by these stores. This will be applicable all through the first year. From the second year, the fee will be raised to 15 cents and thereon it will be 25 cents.

There will be a few exemptions which will include plastic garment shops, restaurants and bags that are used for handing out meat and fresh produce. Apart from that, shoppers with vouchers from Women, Infants and Children, as well as the recipients of food stamp will also not have to pay for paper bags.

Martinez city engineer, Tim Tucker, said that, the main idea behind charging a fee on the bags is to encourage customers to make it a habit to carry their own reusable bags. The council will have a discussion on the proposal soon. In case the council members agree on the terms of the proposal, the ordinance will be brought into effect by early next year.

According to one of the staff members of the council, a ban on takeout foam containers and plastic bags will help the city in meeting the requirement of the state to bring in a reduction in waterway trash by around 70 percent in the next 4 years.

Shoppers Rely on Wholesale Reusable Bags to Get Going with the Plastic Bags Ban

Getting used to this ban won't be very difficult for the residents of the city as they will have the option of carrying wholesale reusable bags. Most people in the city are already aware of the ill effects of plastic bags on the environment and are ready to carry reusable bags instead. As long as the residents and businesses support the ordinance, the city council won't have much problem in dealing with the regulation.