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Soon shoppers in Solana Beach won't have the choice between 'paper or plastic', that is, if the city council approves the Plastic Bag Reduction Use Ordinance. On February 21, the city released the environmental documents necessary to proceed with a ban on plastic bags at all retail establishments citywide.

The ordinance, reads a notice from the City, is "intended to reduce the distribution and use of single use plastic bags from all Solana Beach retail establishments, local events and other organizations issuing these bags for consumer use at the point of sale and encourage a local shift toward the use of reusable bags."

Residents of California reportedly use 14 billion bags every year, and only 11.8 percent of those bags are recycled, says a recent study from the Environmental Protection Agency. Those of which aren't recycled can take up to 1,000 years to degrade.

Talk of banning the bags has been circulating in council chambers for more than five months. If approved, Solana Beach would become the first city in San Diego County to ban plastic. Other California cities to implement similar bans include Malibu, Calabasas, Long Beach, Palo Alto, Santa Monica, San Francisco-- city and county-- and Los Angeles County.

Residents and business owners have until March 17 to comment on the environmental documents. Councilmembers will consider the item after the deadline.

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