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Windsor gets behind plastic-bag ban

A proposed county-wide ban on carry-out plastic bags gained a little more traction this week as Windsor became the second city in Sonoma County to endorse the idea.

The council unanimously agreed that discontinuing use of the plastic bags, which are ubiquitous at grocery stores, is good for the environment and reducing litter.

But council members also decided there should be a "disincentive" for using paper bags — basically a nominal charge — so that consumers don't simply switch to paper.

Ultimately, the goal is a widespread consumer shift to reusable bags.

"Once you're in the habit, it's easier to do — to bring your own bags," said Councilwoman Debora Fudge. "I'm super excited to support this today."

"It's an idea whose time has come, an issue communities will really rally around," predicted Councilwoman Cheryl Scholar.

The Sonoma County Waste Management Agency, which is proposing the ban, is making presentations to the nine cities in the county, all of which would need to endorse a unified county ordinance.

Petaluma this week expressed its support for the proposal.

Still to be determined is whether the ban should extend to department and drug stores and whether smaller retailers should be exempted.

There have been recent failed legislative attempts in Sacramento to ban carry-out plastic bags statewide and charge for paper.

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