The Mountain View City Council Dec. 4 approved a ban on plastic bags, joining a growing list of local cities striving to improve their environmental footprint.
Beginning Earth Day (April 22), Mountain View grocery stores and other retailers are prohibited from offering single-use, carryout bags. The city is among 24 on the Peninsula, including Los Altos, that plan to or already have enacted a bag ban.
San Mateo County is acting as the lead agency in crafting an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)accompanying ordinances for Mountain View, Los Altos and the other 22 Peninsula cities.
“The intent of the regional approach is to ensure uniform, consistent regulations in a broad geographical area, providing consistency for consumers and retailers, lessening confusion, and setting a level playing field for competing retailers in different communities,” according to a Mountain View staff report.
The EIR estimates that the volume of current plastic bag use – 552 million annually for the 24 cities – would decline by 95 percent. A combination of paper (30 percent) and reusable or cloth bags (65 percent) would replace the use of plastic bags. The EIR concludes that the ban would improve air and water quality
“The whole region is going in this direction,” said Mayor Mike Kasperzak. “It’s good that Mountain View is part of it.”