October 24, 2012
San Mateo County adopts plastic bag ban, exempts restaurants
The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance that prohibits retail establishments from distributing single-use point-of-purchase bags in unincorporated areas of the county. The ordinance adopted by the Board of Supervisors exempts restaurants and nonprofits.
The Board of Supervisors also certified the Environmental Impact Report associated with the California Environmental Quality Act to proceed with the bag ban ordinance. The county led the regional approach efforts that clear the way for 24 jurisdictions in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, which participated in the EIR, to consider adopting their own ordinance to ban plastic bags.
The cities in San Mateo County that have indicated they would consider adopting a ban ordinance are Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco and Woodside. Cities in Santa Clara County are Campbell, Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Milpitas and Mountain View.
The California Restaurant Association worked with the Environmental Health Department staff early in the process, raising a number of concerns that were considered, including cross-contamination and foodborne illnesses due to bacteria that may grow inside reusable bags. Restaurants in unincorporated parts of San Mateo County may continue to distribute single-use point-of-purchase bags to its customers.
For more information, contact Javier Gonzalez, director of local government affairs, at 408.416.6344 or email@example.com.