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Paper or plastic? SLO County shoppers may soon not have a choice 

San Luis Obispo County may soon follow in the footsteps of San Francisco in outlawing plastic bags at grocery stores.

"We've been thinking about it for a while," Bill Worrell, manager for SLO County Integrated Waste Management Authority, said of banning plastic grocery bags. "We are a coastal community and there's a real issue with the plastic getting into the ocean. It's certainly an important issue, and it's 1 that we plan on discussing in the coming year."

Plastic bag litter has become a lethal problem for animals. A report from the Film and Bag Federation found that four out of five grocery bags used are plastic. The report also found that Californians use more than 19 billion plastic grocery bags annually--which generates more than 147,038 tons of waste. Each year, more than one million sea birds and marine mammals die from plastic ingestion.

At least one local grocery store manager said that his business would back the idea of ousting plastic bags, even though many of his customers prefer them.

"If they choose to ban plastic bags in SLO County, we would support that decision," said Stephen Dominguez, store manager for New Frontiers Natural Marketplace. "We have been actively looking for an alternative for plastic bags."

The SLO County Integrated Waste Management Authority is expected to discuss the issue in 2008.

Readers Poll

Do you think the SLO County Board of Supervisors should have gone against their policy that states funding for independent special districts should not result in a net fiscal loss to the county?

  • A. Yes, the housing and job opportunity the Dana Reserve is bringing is important
  • B. No, it's giving special privileges to the Nipomo Community Services District
  • C. I trust them, they know what's best for the county
  • D. What's going on?

View Results

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