Come November 1, plastic bags will be hard to come by in Huntington Beach. The city's Reusable Bag Ordinance will go into effect, prohibiting grocery and retail stores alike from offering single-use plastic bags to customers. Lucky for locals lacking a collection of reusable bags, we've fashioned one for you: a Main & PCH canvas tote bag made of recycled cotton and lots of love.
But first, let's nail down the details of the plastic bag ban. The Huntington Beach City Council approved the ordinance in March of this year, taking green cues from two other Orange County cities—Laguna Beach and Dana Point. The loved and loathed plastic carriers are viewed by some as a convenience, one that can be reused around the house, but too often show up in nature, clinging to trees, littering our roadways, invading our sands and floating in our waters. By forcing the HB community to shop with reusable bags, the ban will help eliminate the use of some 1,200 bags per person annually.
So who's affected by the ban? Grocery stores, supermarkets, drug stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, food marts and even farmers markets must comply. Here's the technical category breakdown of stores that fall under the ordinance, per the city of HB:
Full-line, self-service retail: A store with gross annual sales of two million dollars ($2,000,000), or more, that sells a line of dry grocery, canned goods, or nonfood items and some perishable items (i.e. Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target);
Large Retail Store: A store of at least ten thousand (10,000) square feet of retail space that generates sales or use tax pursuant to the Reusable Bag Ordinance and has a licensed pharmacy; or
Drug stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience food stores, food marts, or other entities engaged in the retail sale of a limited line of goods that includes milk, bread, soda and snack foods, including those stores with a Type 20 or 21 license issued by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (i.e. CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Albertsons, Ralphs, Vons, 7-11 and other convenience or liquor stores).
What does the bag ban mean for you? Should you find yourself in line at Trader Joe's having just realized that your reusable bags are sitting in your trunk or atop your fridge at home, do not panic. Stores will still carry recyclable paper bags, which customers can purchase for 10 cents each. The bag ban excludes small plastic bags without handles used to carry produce, meat or other items to the cash register or to keep foods separated.
Our sturdy new Main & PCH canvas tote bags arrived just in time for the bag ordinance. Made by ECOBAGS, they go that extra green mile, using only recycled cotton as well as fair wage and labor. Plus, they give lots of love back to HB. Stop by our marketplace and pick one up.
Psst, local businesses affected by the bag ban, the city has whipped up a colorful 11-inch by 17-inch window poster advising customers of the ordinance. The posters are free and can be obtained by contacting Community Relations Officer Laurie Frymire via phone, 714-536-5577, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.