Bagging a Big Win

The Los Angeles City Council, spearheaded by Councilmembers Ed Reyes and Greig Smith, today unanimously approved a staff recommendation to adopt a citywide plastic bag ban by 2010 — if the state doesn’t enact a 25-cent per-bag fee by then. It also voted to support a Styrofoam ban on city property, including LAX, and at city-sponsored events. Councilmembers Richard Alarcón and Janice Hahn led the charge to move up the bag ban deadline two years, to 2010.

This is an enormous day for the Los Angeles River, Santa Monica Bay and the entire California coast. Los Angeles has now sent a loud message to Sacramento to approve AB 2058, which mandates a quarter fee on plastic bags. If state leaders don’t act decisively, more and more cities will ban the bag. Major props to City Council and the Bureau of Sanitation!

Meanwhile, the Coalition to Save the Plastic Bag (did Bush and Cheney put them on the endangered species list while I wasn’t looking?) is suing the County of Los Angeles over its weak bag recycling resolution that the Board of Supervisors passed in January. Where do these guys come from?

The good news from the County’s perspective is that its leaders rebounded from the January mistake (negotiated by a lobbyist for the plastic industry, go figure) to sponsor and help spearhead AB 2058. With Los Angeles’ move today, the chances for a statewide solution to our 19 BILLION plastic bag a year addiction have risen dramatically.

Now it’s up to co-authors Lloyd Levine, Mike Davis, and Julia Brownley to close. A strong endorsement by Governor Schwarzenegger should seal the deal.

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3 Responses

  1. […] be followed up by a bag ban if agreed-upon reductions don’t happen by July 2010 — and got sued by the plastic bag industry. Santa Monica started working on an ordinance for a ban in Feb. 2008 […]

  2. […] do these guys come from?” asks Heal the Bay’s Spouting Off blog. Kirsten James of Heal the Bay said she found it “interesting” that the plastic […]

  3. Where’s your compassion for the kid who’s got $2.98 for
    a gallon of milk, because now he’ll need $3.23. You can’t
    expect a kid to remember to bring a bag.

    Environmentalists claim the bags last for at 75 years. If I
    start to triple bag everything from now until 2010, I’ll have
    enough bags not worry about the tax.

    Your recycle rate figures do not account for people who
    re-use bags, for example, I use them to transport wet
    clothes from the beach.

    What happened to the corn-starch based bags which
    are water resistant yet will degrade within months?

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