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Sacramento County Moves To Ban Plastic Grocery Bags

Jeff Barnard / AP

Jeff Barnard / AP

Update March 23, 6 a.m. (AP) - A majority of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors is signaling support for a ban on single-use plastic bags.

Supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday to allow the proposal to go forward. If they formally approve the plan next month, Sacramento County would join dozens of local governments with plastic bag restrictions.

It would take effect July 1.

The Sacramento County ordinance matches a proposed statewide ban that was approved by the Legislature but is on hold pending a public vote in November, so the county would be unaffected by the result of the state referendum.

The City of Sacramento has had a plastic bag ban since the beginning of the year. The county ban would apply in unincorporated areas, including populous sections of the Sacramento metro area.

Original Post: The City of Sacramento and the State of California have plastic bag bans on the books. Now, Sacramento County has also proposed a bag ban. 

County departments estimate they spend $200,000 per year cleaning up plastic bags from roadways, parks and landfills.

Chris Pahule is with the county and says grocery stores, food marts and pharmacies would be prohibited from providing plastic bags to customers.

"Stores that are not included in the ordinance — those would be home-improvement stores, fast-food establishments, as well as clothing stores," Pahule says.

If the Board of Supervisors approves the ordinance Tuesday and next month it would be enforced beginning July 1.

The ordinance mirrors a state law that was passed last year.

That law has not been enforced because it is the subject of a November ballot measure filed by opponents of the ban.

If the attempt to block the state ban is successful, the local ordinance will remain in effect.