On February 21, 2012, the Dana Point City Council voted to ban the distribution of Single-Use Plastic Carry-Out Bags at the point of sale at local retail establishments (DMPC 12-04). The Single-Use Plastic Carry-Out Ban Ordinance is intended to significantly reduce the environmental impacts related to single-use plastic bags and to promote a major shift towards the utilization of reusable bags for the purpose of carrying away goods. The thin, light duty single-use plastic bags were intended for one-time use and designed to be disposable as opposed to reusable. Though these plastic bags are recycleable, very few (less than 5%) of the estimated 19 billion bags used in California are actually recycled due to the logistics of sorting, high contamination rates and the lack of suitable markets for the recycled resin of the low quality plastic used to make the bags.
A Single-Use Plastic Carry-Out Bag is defined as any bag that is less than 2.25 mil thick and is made predominately of plastic (including compostable and biodegradable) derived from petroleum and bags made from bio-based sources such as corn or other plant sources.
Dana Point Retail Establishments affected by the Ordinance include all grocery stores, convenience stores, mini-marts, liquor stores, drug stores, pharmacies, retail stores, vendors and non-profit vendors selling clothing and/or personal items.
The Ordinance does NOT prohibit the distribution of plastic product bags used for produce, unprepared meat and fish, bulk food, newspapers, dry-cleaning or animal pet waste. Restaurants and other providers of prepared take-out foods and liquids are also exempt from the Ordinance.
In our community, the impact to the marine environment is the primary concern that motivated the City's consideration of a policy to limit the distribution of single-use plastic bags. The City will continue to be guided by our goals and our commitment towards reducing and eliminating negative impacts in order to preserve our pristine coastline.
For more information on the Single-Use Plastic Carry-Out Bag Ban Ordinance, please click on the links below: