LA Becomes Nation's Largest City to Ban Plastic Bags; Also Requiring Fee for Paper Bags

Environmentalists and clean-water advocates are lauding Los Angeles' move to ban plastic shopping bags at supermarkets. The city will also eventually require a 10 cent fee for paper bags.

The Los Angeles Times has the story:

Egged on by actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and an array of environmental groups, the City Council voted 13 to 1 to phase out plastic bags over the next 12 months at an estimated 7,500 stores. Councilman Bernard Parks cast the lone no vote.  

"Let’s get the message to Sacramento that it’s time to go statewide," said Councilman Ed Reyes, who has focused on efforts to revitalize the Los Angeles River.

Council members quietly backed away from a more controversial plan to also ban use of paper grocery bags, which was first proposed by appointees of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Wednesday’s vote kicks off a four-month environmental review of the bag ban, followed by passage of an ordinance putting it into effect. Larger stores would then have six months to phase out plastic bags and smaller markets a 12-month phase-out period. For paper bags, retailers would be required to charge 10 cents per bag starting one year after the plastic bag is enacted.

The city eventually end up banning paper bags altogether; a study will be conducted in two years to determine if such a move would make sense. “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,” Councilman Paul Koretz told the Times.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at May 24, 2012, 5:29am

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