SLO County IWMA seeking to ban plastic bags for produce

February 13, 2020


Stores in San Luis Obispo County will be barred from providing single use plastic produce bags if proponents in favor of updating the Integrated Waste Management Authority’s plastic bag ban are successful. And with a  9-4 vote on Tuesday to amend the ordinance, it is likely the IWMA Board will move forward with the ban.

Three SLO County supervisors, Debbie Arnold, John Peschong, and Lynn Compton, opposed the ban, along with Paso Robles Councilman John Hamon. And while the three supervisors hold a majority on the SLO County Board of Supervisors, they do not hold a political majority on the IWMA board.

The board is composed of five county supervisors, seven city council representatives, and one special district representative.

If passed, the ban would prohibit the distribution of plastic produce storage bags countywide. Instead, grocery stores can provide paper bags for produce, at a cost of at least 10 cents each.

At Tuesday’s meeting, several speakers urged the board to ban single use plastic bags noting negative impacts on the environment. Opponents of the ban were concerned with the costs to businesses and consumers.

In April, IWMA staff plans to bring back an amended ordinance for board approval.

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What about the pooch prize bag dispensers at hiking trails? Are we to just carry shovels?

Those actually self destruct into little bits in a matter of time. Probably a lot faster than the contents you put in it.

What a great way to spread disease. One sick checker touches all the veggies of thousands of people pulling them out of plastic bags to read prices. Stupid ass libs. Hope they all get wuhan flu.

How would that be any different than one sick produce guy putting everything on the shelves?

I agree to the adoption of ANY form of environmental regulation enforced in China.

How does the grocer determine “Tare” weight of your own reusable bag you have brought into the store? They already know what the thin sterile single use bag on a roll weighs. Or, does the grocer spitball the weight just like this ordinance is spitballing regulation without a feasibility study that specifies a time period for reevaluation. Surely the ordinance MUST include a sustainability periodic reevaluation to see if the ordinance is costing or causing more harm than good? Or, is it like the failed CalRecycle Program that has already commandeered your bottle and aluminum can fees for the general fund and shown subsidy favoritism throwing good money after bad to a few struggling recyclers?

Legal “Weights and Measures” practices for grocers: Tare Weight

“Customers cannot be charged for tare when weighing packages for sale. The weight of the tare materials must be subtracted from the gross weight of the packaged product in order to determine the correct net weight and the correct price…Tare weight for bulk items must be deducted from the gross weight at the point of sale. These are products that the consumer selects and places in a package, usually a bag, to be weighed at the checkout register.”

I have been using fabric produce bags for some time now and they have the weight of the empty bag printed right on the label.

Okay, let me get this straight. An agency that exists wholly within SLO County, but is not elected by the citizens therein, and which claims the power of legislative action affecting said county cannot have such actions rejected by the county?

I just read the section related to powers in the IWMA joint powers agreement. There is nothing in there about legislating regulations. Section 5 says “The Authority is empowered to … regulate… facilities…”. It also says the “The Authority shall also have the power to plan, study and recommend proper solid waste management…”. It also says “The Authority shall not… regulate… member jurisdictions…”.

Part of the agreement on the IWMA website is obliterated and unreadable. This must be where they put the limitations on themselves that they don’t want us to know about.

The agreement on the IWMA website also shows not indication of acceptance by the County.

We all know they are as crocked as they can be, but it looks to me like they would be hard pressed to demonstrate the power to enact any legislating regulations and/or enforce same.

This is just another phony regulatory agency, its given the nod by our local govt, just like the coastal commision and the air resorces boards, useless agencys that get away with stacking more useless rules and regulations on the taxpaying public.

This attempted overreach should be a humbling event for IWMA that they will have to formally change their definition for SRRE. From their own 1994 “Joint Powers Agreement” definitions: “1.19 “SRRE” means a Source Reduction And Recycling Element as required by the Act (California Resources Code Sections 40000 et seg.), as that element may be amended from time to time.”

If you review the CA Resources Code for single use plastic you’ll find four statues: 42270 & 42270 Single-Use Plastic Straws, 42284 Single-Use Carryout Bags, & 42288 Finacial Provisions “…two million dollars …loans for the creation and retention of jobs and economic activity in this state for the manufacture and recycling of plastic reusable grocery bags that use recycled content….” You will not find a CA state waste management Public Resource Code/PRC on single-use PRODUCE bags. So, there is no state feasibility study to ride the coattails on single-use produce bags.

Now let’s go back to the Joint Power Agreement Section 5 Powers 5.1: “…implement the programs specified in the state approved and locally adopted SRREs….” Bingo! The definition that IWMA has in 1.19 for SRRE only refers to “required by the Act (California Public Resource Code Sections 4000 et seg.)….” So, for locally adopted SRREs there is no formal definition in their 1994 agreement. If locally adopted SRREs were defined wouldn’t it take a full compliment of SLO County Public Resource Codes that IWMA could act upon? It sure seems so to me, plus the IWMA must unanimously redraft or amend the SRRE definition in 1.19. With a 9 to 4 recent vote how audacious to think you can amend the agreement. Section 14 “This Agreement may only be amended or terminated by a written instrument executed by all Members….”

C’mon IWMA aren’t you getting over your skis on this? It’s about time you get a hand-slap to realize you were formed for the economies of motion off all the participates to enact or enforce CA state PRCs, not pull new ones out of your backside. And, certainly not to hopefully enact something that may or may not work without a full feasibility study.