Have You Noticed? Bag Ban Is in Effect

The Alameda County Bag Ban got off to a start this month, and food stores from corner bodegas to Walmart have all had to comply. We’re supportive of the ban for multiple reasons: it prevents raw resources from going into a throw-away product, it keeps plastic litter out of our streets and waterways, and the ban will reduce the amount of plastic we send to the landfill.

With all these reasons to be happy the bag ban is in place, there are still some adjustments Alameda County residents are making. Our Environmental Info Desk has fielded some questions from people who had been reusing the disposable bags for a specific purpose, like lining their trash cans, and are wondering how to best meet their needs now that the bag ban is in place. Read on for a list of resources and suggestions for those looking for low-cost replacements for the disposable bags.

  • There several reusable bag giveaways throughout the county in the next few weeks. Check out the dates and locations here.
  • At the Ecology Center Farmers’ Markets, customers can drop off or pick up used paper or plastic bags at each of the Farmers’ Market locations.
  • Reuse larger bags you might have from pet food, rice, or other dry goods, although this is likely to be a limited source of bags.
  • Try letting your trash bin go “naked”: if you live somewhere where composting kitchen scraps is possible, your trash stands a good chance of being mostly dry. Clean your bin out periodically with a scrubbing of baking soda and water.
  • Use newspaper. With the right size trash bin, several sheets layered diagonally can easily be lifted as a bundle with trash contained inside. Or, use a sheet of newspaper to wrap wet, stinky individual trash items to keep the rest of the bin dry and mess-free.
  • Check out our tips for plastic bag-free storage of fruits and vegetables.
  • For more information about the Bag Ban, contact StopWaste at 510-891-6575 or email bags@stopwaste.org.
  • For more resources from our Info Desk, call 510-548-2220 x233 or email erc@ecologycenter.org.

[Photo by Plan It Green Printing]

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