Residents surveyed at the Walnut Family Festival earlier this month were divided on whether they would support a ban on plastic carryout bags.
City staff conducted the survey to get an idea of how Walnut felt about a possible ban in light of environmental concerns raised regarding use of the bags.
“State waste records report that approximately 45,000 tons of plastic carryout bags are consumed annually, with only 5 percent being recycled,” Alicia Jensen, senior management analyst, wrote in a staff report.
Staff plans tonight to present the results of the survey to the Walnut City Council. The council could direct staff to prepare an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags in Walnut, receive and file the report without taking action, or request more information.
Results of the survey found that of the 149 Walnut residents polled, 75 said they favored a plastic bag ban and 74 reported that they opposed the idea.
“The results of the Family Festival survey suggest there is not a clear consensus among Walnut residents as to whether or not to ban single-use plastic bags,” Jensen said, adding that it is important to note that the survey was informal and the sampling small.
Many of those who opposed the idea of a ban said they supported continued recycling efforts. All of the city’s major grocery stores provide in-store containers for plastic carryout bag recycling as required by Assembly Bill 2449, according to staff.
California lawmakers are considering several bills related to the recycling issue.
Municipalities that have enacted plastic bag bans and imposed a per bag fee on the paper variety for large retailers and supermarkets include Dan Point, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, unincorporated Los Angeles County, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood.
Local cities such as Diamond Bar, Claremont, West Covina, Pomona, San Dimas, and Glendora are monitoring plastic bag legislation, but have not taken any action to ban.
In 2008, the council received two separate reports on plastic bag bans and voted to receive and file both reports.
The Walnut City Council meets tonight at 7 p.m. at City Hall.