City commission to look at regulating one-time-use plastic containers next week | TahoeDailyTribune.com

City commission to look at regulating one-time-use plastic containers next week

Adam Jensen
ajensen@tahoedailytribune.com

Adam Jensen / Tahoe Daily TribuneA plastic bag sits discarded outside Raley's in the Village Center. South Lake Tahoe's Sustainability Commission will discuss regulating one-time-use plastic containers during a meeting next week.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Every home seems to have one.

A place where once-used and long-forgotten plastic grocery bags go to congregate. Whether stuffed under the kitchen sink, crammed into a drawer or simply thrown in the trash, the ubiquitous bags have to go somewhere after they make the journey from grocery store to counter top.

But the bags don’t always make it to these plastic graveyards, blowing in the breeze and finding new homes on area roadsides and forests.

Starting with San Francisco’s 2007 ban on plastic grocery bags, the Bay Area has led the way when it comes to regulating the use of one-time-use plastic containers.

And South Lake Tahoe could be right behind it.

The South Lake Tahoe Sustainability Commission will host a public workshop on Feb. 3 to discuss how one-time-use plastic containers should be regulated in South Lake Tahoe.

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The goal is a simple one: to reduce the amount of trash at the South Shore, said Kirstin Cattell, chair of the city’s sustainability commission.

Implementing fees for using one-time-use plastic containers, providing incentives for consumers to use non-disposable containers, and a ban on the one-time-use containers are all measures municipalities have taken to decrease the amount of plastic pollution littering landfills and communities, Cattell said.

But the commission isn’t tied to any one type of regulation.

“This is just the beginning of the discussion,” Cattell said. “We’re looking at a couple of ideas, but if someone has a better idea, bring it to the forum and let us know about it.”

City attorneys will present information on the legal ramifications of regulating plastic containers at the forum and attendees will discuss how the city should move forward.

The Sustainability Commission will then use the information gathered during the forum to develop a recommendation to the city council, who will have the ultimate say regarding how, or if, one time use plastic containers should be regulated in South Lake Tahoe.

The commission is likely to develop that recommendation during their March meeting, Cattell said.

taken to decrease the amount of plastic pollution littering landfills and communities, Cattell said.

But the commission isn’t tied to any one type of regulation.

“This is just the beginning of the discussion,” Cattell said. “We’re looking at a couple of ideas, but if someone has a better idea, bring it to the forum and let us know about it.”

City attorneys will present information on the legal ramifications of regulating plastic containers at the forum and attendees will discuss how the city should move forward.

The Sustainability Commission will then use the information gathered during the forum to develop a recommendation to the city council, who will have the ultimate say regarding how, or if, one-time-use plastic containers should be regulated in South Lake Tahoe.

The commission is likely to develop that recommendation during its March meeting, Cattell said.

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