OB Town Council puts bag on plastic bag controversy
by Tony de Garate
Dec 12, 2013 | 1848 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Ocean Beach Town Council voted overwhelmingly to urge the City Council to ban carry-out plastic bags at grocery stores and retail outlets and charge 10 cents for paper bags. Courtesy photo
The Ocean Beach Town Council voted overwhelmingly to urge the City Council to ban carry-out plastic bags at grocery stores and retail outlets and charge 10 cents for paper bags. Courtesy photo
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Let power lines be roosting territory for Ocean Beach’s famous feral parakeets — not a hitching post for ripped-up and decaying plastic bags twisting away in the wind, according to the Ocean Beach Town Council’s Board of Directors.

The board last month voted to support a proposed ordinance that would ban carry-out plastic bags at grocery stores and retail outlets in San Diego and charge 10 cents for paper bags.

If carried through, the city would join Solana Beach and more than 85 cities and counties in California that have taken action, according to Roger Cube, director of the San Diego County chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, who addressed the board in October.

Cube, pointing to a recently released study by the Equinox Center, said the harm from using plastic instead of reusable tote bags is irrefutable. More than 95 percent of the half-billion bags used annually throughout the city goes unrecycled, winding up as roadside and beach litter.

A ban could achieve an 86 percent reduction in plastic bag usage, the study said.

“It was a fabulous presentation, very convincing,” said Ocean Beach Town Council president Gretchen Kinney Newsom.

The ordinance was approved in October by the San Diego City Council’s Rules and Economic Development Committee, but has yet to be considered by the full City Council. OB Town Council board members decided to pass a resolution as a way to express the community’s pro-environment values, Kinney Newsom said.

“We felt it was important to get the word out effectively,” Kinney Newsom said.

The resolution in full can be viewed at obtowncouncil.org.

— Tony de Garate
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