The Oakland City Council Tuesday banned petroleum-based nonbiodegradable shopping bags in an effort to reduce the amount of waste Oakland sends to landfills and prevent the plastic bags from polluting the environment.
The ban would apply to stores with gross annual sales of more than $1million, which would include all supermarkets and chain drug stores.
However, the measure would not apply to restaurants or fast food eateries.
“It’s a good first small step,” said Councilmember Patricia Kernighan (Grand Lake-Chinatown). “It’s not going to solve all of the problems in the world.”
The new law does not apply to the sacks provided by grocery stores to bag fresh fruit and vegetables or meat, only those bags shoppers get at the check stand.
So, this ban does not address the problem of all the plastic bags used for bulk foods at stores like Berkeley Bowl. I’ll have a report on Berkeley Bowl soon.