San Mateo to Implement Reusable Bag Ordinance

Beginning June 6, retailers in San Mateo will charge a minimum of $0.10 for a requested recycled paper bag or reusable bag.

San Mateo is about to become the latest city on the Peninsula to charge customers $0.10 for a paper or plastic bag.

The San Mateo City Council on Monday night unanimously voted to support a resuable bag ordiance, completing the regional effort in San Mateo County and parts of Santa Clara County to reduce litter.

The City Council also voted to support the polystyrene ban, which will prohibit the use of polystyrene in restaurants and delis.

Adoption of both ordinances is expected for May 6, with implementation beginning June 6 in the city of San Mateo.

San Mateo County, along with a number of other cities, will implement the reusable bag ordinance on Earth Day, April 22.

Beginning June 6 in San Mateo, retailers will charge a minimum of $0.10 for a requested recycled paper bag or reusable bag. Retail shoppers will have the option of bringing their own reusable bags.

Exemptions apply for restaurants and nonprofit charitable organizations, as well as businesses that use produce and meat bags, garment cleaning bags and pharmaceutical bags.  

For the polystyrene ban, restaurants and delis will be required to use more environmentally-friendly packaging.

Many restaurants have already elected to use less harmful packaging for the safety of their customers.

Starting June 6, food establishments will have a two-month grace period to exhaust existing stock of polystyrene before enforcement commences.

“The City of San Mateo has sent a strong message that we are serious about reducing litter and guarding our waterways from non-biodegradable materials” states Larry Patterson, Director of Public Works.

“We are happy that our business community, residents, and our City Council are working together to address important environmental issues,” he said.

Reusable Bag Give-Away on Earth Day, April 22

The city will be distributing a limited number of free “BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) San Mateo” reusable bags to help residents transition to carrying their reusable bags when shopping. Supplies are limited.

Hours and locations:

Main Library 55 W. 3rd Ave. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Hillsdale Library 205 W. Hillsdale Blvd. 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Marina Library 1530 Susan Court 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. Beresford Community Center 2720 Alameda de las Pulgas 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Senior Center 2645 Alameda de las Pulgas 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Martin Luther King Community Center 725 Monte Diablo Ave. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. San Mateo City Hall 330 W. 20th Ave. 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 

 To learn more about the city of San Mateo’s efforts to adopt these ordinances, call 650.522.7334 or visit www.cityofsanmateo.org/bagban and www.cityofsanmateo.org/polyban.

Also on San Mateo Patch:

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  • Talking To Your Kids About Boston Marathon Tragedy
  • San Mateo Woman Struck on Foster City Boulevard Dies
  • Former Ralston Custodian Takes Plea Deal in Student Molestation Case
Samantha Meyer April 17, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Just to clarify, the reusable bag ordinance actually bans plastic bags outright. This article states "San Mateo is about to become the latest city on the Peninsula to charge customers $0.10 for a paper or plastic bag." However, customers will NOT have the option to buy a plastic bag. Great work San Mateo! Samantha Meyer Clean Water Action


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