Home Pittsburg Pittsburg Set to Comply With AB 1276 in Reducing Single-Use Plastic Waste

Pittsburg Set to Comply With AB 1276 in Reducing Single-Use Plastic Waste

by ECT

On Monday, the Pittsburg City Council will seek to finalize adoption of its municipal to allow local enforcement of AB 1276, which aims to reduce single-use plastic waste generated in California.

During the October 17 council meeting, the ordinance amending the Pittsburg Municipal Code was introduced in response to AB 1276  which aims to decrease plastic in the landfill as well as plastic pollution in the streets and waterways of Pittsburg where it causes serious environmental harm.

City staff said the enforcement mechanism will be “complaint based” which is the same group of people of people for enforcement SB 1383, including fines.  The fines would come after two written notices for the first and second violation.  A third violation is a $25 fine and would not exceed $300 annually.

Staff said local businesses should see a positive impact because they will now be handling out less inventory—but would be confirmed a year from now with a “post survey” after the ordinance is in effect.

Councilmember Jelani Killings asked how enforcement would work if businesses do not comply or handing out utensils without being asked.

Staff replied it would be complaint based and enforcement officials would not be sent out unless they receive a complaint or notice it. Graphics and posters will be handed out to both businesses and customers to become an educational component.

Councilmember Juan Banales asked if businesses could proactively ask for the items or do they stay silent.

Staff said, businesses can offer items and having in stock what people need stating its more along the lines of not shoving 7 forks or a 95 napkins into a bag.

The council then voted 5-0 to approve the ordinance regarding sustainable food packaging and condiments.

City Council meeting

  • November 07, 2022
  • City Hall Council Chamber
    65 CIVIC AVENUE, PITTSBURG, CA
  • REGULAR MEETINGS: 7:00 P.M.
  • Full Agenda – Click here

Background:

On October 17, 2022, the City Council introduced Ordinance 22-1503 and moved unanimously to waive the first reading of the Ordinance amending Chapter 8.08 of the Pittsburg Municipal Code regarding sustainable food packaging and condiments. In 2018, the City adopted Chapter 8.08 “Sustainable Food Packaging – Polystyrene Products Regulation” to regulate the use and sale of polystyrene products as polystyrene is not biodegradable and breaks down easily into small pieces making it difficult and expensive to remove from the environment and keep from filling landfills.

Disposable foodware like plastic forks, knives, and straws affect the environment and landfills similarly, and in 2018, former Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1884 (AB 1884) prohibiting full-service restaurants from providing single-use plastic straws to consumers unless requested by the consumer. AB 1884 directed local health and environmental health officers and their agents to enforce the plastic straw regulation.

On October 5, 2021, Governor Newsom signed AB 1276, which expands the scope of AB 1884 by prohibiting food providers and third-party food delivery platforms from providing disposable foodware, such as cutlery, straws, and condiment packets to a consumer unless requested by the consumer. (Note – Fact Sheet)

STAFF ANALYSIS
Like Chapter 8.08, AB 1276 is designed to reduce plastic waste associated with excess packaging and undesired condiments. The intended outcome of implementing the proposed Ordinance update is to decrease plastic in the landfill as well as plastic pollution in the streets and waterways of Pittsburg where it causes environmental harm.

To achieve compliance with AB 1276, the proposed Ordinance updates:

  • Expand and define sustainable food packaging items besides polystyrene as disposabl foodware and standard condiments including:
    • Utensils, which are defined as forks, knives, spoons, and sporks
    • Chopsticks
    • Condiment cups and packets
    • Straws
    • Stirrers
    • Splash sticks
    • Cocktail sticks
  • Establish complaint-based enforcement mechanisms by:
    • Updating the City’s responsible enforcement party to Enforcement Official,
      consistent with the City’s other existing solid waste regulations
    • Expanding enforcement in the existing chapter beyond polystyrene products to disposable foodware and standard condiments
  • Establish fines for foodware and condiment infractions in alignment with State law and
    reduce previously adopted fines for polystyrene infractions
  • Delineate those exempt and non-exempt from this legislation
  • Address third party food delivery platforms like Uber Eats, Grub Hub, Door Dash, etc.
  • Change the title of Chapter 8.08 from Sustainable Food Packaging – Polystyrene Products Regulation” to “Sustainable Food Packaging and Condiments”

The City has contacted the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce and Sustainable Contra Costa to conduct outreach to the business community and consumers. Staff will continue working with these Pittsburg communities to build awareness of the provisions of the proposed Ordinance. It is expected that restaurants and businesses will experience a positive fiscal impact due to the distribution of less inventory.

After introducing the Ordinance, the City Council must approve the action by adopting the Ordinance by a majority vote at a subsequent meeting.

The Ordinance becomes effective 30 days after the date of its adoption

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