A vote by the Los Angeles City Council has prohibited the use of plastic bags, making it the largest city in the United States to enact a ban. This is great news for the ocean, waterways along the coast, and overflowing landfills.
A more controversial ban on paper bags was also proposed, but council members quietly backed away before getting neck-deep into that issue.
The vote kicks off a four-month review period of the plastic bag ban, and large markets have 6 months to phase out plastic bag use. Smaller stores will get 12 months to phase out the bags. In a year, retailers may be required to charge 10 cents per paper bag used by each customer. Los Angeles County already has a fee on paper bags, which has decreased use by 94% since being put into place.
According to Councilman Paul Koretz, a study will be conducted in 2 years to determine whether paper should be included in this ban. “My hope is that so few paper bags will be used as a result of this measure that the formal ban on paper bags may not even be necessary.”
San Francisco, San Jose, Long Beach and Seattle have already enacted plastic bag bans. Needless to say, environmentalists are thrilled to see Los Angeles join in. Plastic bag manufacturers, on the other hand, are not so thrilled, sporting t-shirts that say “Don’t Kill My Job” as they begged council members to change their decision. Well, how about a job creating reusable grocery bags or something else that creates even a mildly positive impact?
Are there still people who don’t own any reusable grocery bags? That’s just so ‘90s.
I’m thinking this is going to become more of a widespread phenomenon now that Los Angeles has enacted this ban. Do you think it will happen in your town or city soon?