Residents weigh in on Solana Beach's plastic bag ban: City council revisited decision Wednesday

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. - The Solana Beach City Council is revisiting its plastic bag ban after months of backlash. On Wednesday, residents weighed in on the ban.

12- year-old Evan Lewis of La Jolla had his father drive him to Solana Beach on Wednesday night to implore the city council to leave its plastic bag ban in place.

"You have the chance to keep the steps going to help our environment," said Lewis. "You have a chance to make a decision that your children's, children's children will be proud of."

Solana Beach became the first city in San Diego County to ban plastic bags nearly a year ago.

On Wednesday night, city leaders revisited their decision due to community complaints about the 10-cent fee now charged for paper bags and how only retailers have to abide by it.

"For instance, liquor stores may give a free paper bag to folks so that they won't be seen walking out of the store with a half gallon of Kentucky bourbon, but Mom cannot have a free paper bag to carry a half gallon of milk," said Celine Olson, former mayor of Solana Beach.

However, that is not the only concern over paper versus plastic.

"Paper bags are made from trees and when they're buried… if they decompose in a landfill then they emit methane, which is a greenhouse gas with 25 times the potency of CO2," said Los Angeles resident Stephen Joseph.

Solana Beach estimated their population of about 13,000 was using nearly 6.5 million plastic bags a year before the ban.

Now, they hope surrounding communities, especially Del Mar to the south and Encinitas to the north, will follow suit rather than luring shoppers there to sidestep their ban.

"Your leadership in the county in crucial and I urge you not to move backward," said a man who attended Wednesday's meeting. "Please continue your leadership in the county because our county is lacking leadership."

The Solana Beach City Council made no decisions on Wednesday evening and no vote was taken.

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