The Martinez City Council will consider a ban on single-use plastic bags at its June 4 meeting.

To help residents and businesses understand the proposal and answer questions, there will be two public workshops on Wednesday, May 28, in the City Council chamber, 525 Henrietta St.

  • The workshop for businesses is at 8:30 a.m.

  • The workshop for residents is at 6:30 p.m.

    The ordinance would apply to retail and public eating establishments, and would become effective Sept. 1.

    "Reducing the amount of garbage that clogs our creeks and litters our streets and highways is important for the health, economy and sustainability of the Martinez community," said Mayor Rob Schroder. "It is also important to adopt rules that are easy to understand and minimize the impact on businesses, especially our small businesses.

    "We are working to craft an ordinance that accomplishes all of these objectives."

    Martinez will also consider a fee for paper bags on customers who do not bring their own reusable bags -- 10 cents per bag. Area cities that have approved plastic bag bans are Walnut Creek, Pittsburg and San Pablo. Pleasant Hill is considering a similar ordinance.

    The city has increased its litter pickup and installed devices to catch trash in some 60 storm drains in the downtown area along Alhambra Avenue, and other commercial areas to prevent plastic bags and other debris from flowing into the creeks and bay, noted city engineer Tim Tucker.

    More devices are to be installed.

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