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City Council to Consider Several New Green Policies

On the Council's study session agenda for Tuesday night are considerations for approving bans on plastic bags and polystyrene food containers, ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and more.

Tuesday night, March 13, the Menlo Park City Council will be mulling over several new environmental policies, including whether or not to ban both single-use plastic bags and polystyrene (Styrofoam) food containers, and the adoption of a goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Banning single-use plastic bags at grocery and retail stores is not a new concept to the Bay Area - several cities, including Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Foster City and others - have either already adopted such a ban, or are currently in the process of considering it. 

The ban encourages shoppers to bring their own environmentally-friendly, reusable bags, or forces them to pay a small fee - usually in the neighborhood of about 10 cents per bag - if they don't, and want the store to provide single-use bags for their purchases.

The reason cities have given for considering such bans is often that the single-use plastic bags can clog up recycling and sorting machines, and often end up in creeks and waters.

Bans on polystyrene - or Styrofoam - containers by eating establishments are also becoming commonplace around the Bay Area. Cities such as Milpitas and Foster City have also placed consideration for such bans on their City Council agendas recently.

Also on the study session agenda for tonight, the Council has indicated it will discuss "consideration and guidance on … whether to adopt a community-wide Greenhouse Gas Reduction target, and if a target is to be considered, which target should be recommended."

During the Council's regular session at 7 p.m., which is open to the public, the Council plans to discuss awarding a contract to re-carpet the entire public library, which could cost slightly over $110,000.

Council meetings are held in the , 701 Laurel St. in Menlo Park. The study session will begin at 6 p.m. and is closed to the public. The regular session will begin at 7 p.m. and it is open to the public. A report will be given on what took place during the closed study session.

For more information, visit the City's website at www.menlopark.org.

To view the full agenda for tonight's study session and public Council meeting, click here.

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