UPDATE, 9/5: Arcata’s plastic bag era is officially on notice. The Arcata City Council voted unanimously last night to approve the anti-bag ordinance which, again, takes effect on Feb. 1, 2014. -AG

# # # # #

ORIGINAL POST: Will the Arcata City Council vote to ban single-use carryout plastic bags at tonight’s meeting?

The e-comments window closed at noon today, so why not postpone what you had planned tonight and head down to council chambers to make yourself heard?
If the ban passes, stores will have to start offering customers better options come Feb. 1, 2014. Several local conventional grocery stores have already taken steps in this direction on their own, including Murphy’s and Ray’s.

From the Agenda:

C. Public Hearing for Introduction of Ordinance No. 1434 Adding Chapter 3.5, Sections 5476-5479, to Title V (Sanitation and Health) of the Arcata Municipal Code, Establishing a Waste Reduction And Reuse Program for Carryout Bags

RECOMMENDATION: It is recommended that the City Council: 1) Open the public hearing on the Reusable Bag Ordinance, No. 1434; 2) Introduce Ordinance No. 1434; 3) Schedule the adoption of Ordinance No. 1434 and of the City’s Negative Declaration (CEQA) document.

At its meeting of July 24, 2013, the City Council reviewed a draft of Ordinance No. 1434, provided direction to staff, and requested additional information regarding section 5477(D)(3)’definition of Large Store. Staff analyzed to what extent the Ordinance would apply to large stores within the City limits in the range of 5,000 square feet, 7,500 square feet and 10,000 square feet. This mapped information will be provided on September 4, 2013, so that a decision on this aspect of the Ordinance can be made.

Today on KHUM’s Coastal Currents, Surfrider Humboldt’s Jen Savage (disclaimer: Savage is a LoCO contributor) and national Surfrider bag-slayer Bill Hickman make their case.