Entry #8: Los Angeles Planning To Ban Plastic Bags

Last modified on July 26th, 2008

I love hearing stories about groups or cities becoming more environmentally conscious. I have a pile of posts to do in the next 24 hours about clean energy, and I thought I’d start it off with this piece.

Plastic Bags

Photo by Sekihan on Flickr

Los Angeles recently voted to ban plastic bags by the year 2010. Not only did the entire city council support that effort, but the vote was actually unanimous.

The City Council voted Tuesday to ban plastic shopping bags from stores, beginning July 1, 2010. Shoppers can either bring their own bags or pay 25 cents for a paper or biodegradable bag.

The council’s unanimous vote also puts pressure on the state, which is considering an Assembly bill that would impose bag recycling requirements on stores. City officials said their ban would not be implemented if the state passes the bill and requires at least a 25-cent charge per bag.

“We’ve gotten to a point where we need to act as a city, where we can have real results,” said Councilman Ed Reyes, who proposed the bag ban. “We’re trying to do it in a way where we can educate and inform the public of what we’re doing.”

Reyes said the ban will minimize cleanup costs for the city and reduce trash that collects in storm drains and the Los Angeles River. The city estimates more than 2 billion plastic bags are used each year in Los Angeles. About 5 percent of plastic bags and 21 percent of paper bags are recycled in California.

Obviously I’m in huge favor of this type of action. Plastic bags are not biodegradable and are made from a pile of chemicals. Out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is an area known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a huge circling pile of plastic chips and components that end up swirling in our oceans. The environmental impact of plastic, especially in the context of the Pacific Garbage Patch, is huge, affecting nearly all of the Pacific marine life, which then ultimately enters our food chain.

The only part of the article I find a bit disturbing is the introduction of yet another fee. But all in all, it’s a good green effort, and it gets the big A-Plus from the Duane camp.

I’m hoping to also have a guest entry later today from Shira Lazer who lives down in Los Angeles. If you check back later, hopefully I’ll have something up.

This entry was written for Blogathon 2008, and in support of the Union Gospel Mission charity. If you’d like to donate to the cause, please visit the blogathon donation page and fill out the form near the middle. You can also follow the blogathon RSS feed for this site by clicking here.

One response to “Entry #8: Los Angeles Planning To Ban Plastic Bags”

  1. jenn says:

    I always buy reusable bags now, the problem with that is that half the time I forget to bring them and just buy more. And now I buy plastic bags for doggy duty. I feel better, but not really sure that my actions are any better than they were prior.

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