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L.A. Plastic Bag Ban Unravels

lapb2.jpgLos Angeles County supervisors retreated from a threat to ban plastic bags and instead opted for a volunteer program that leaves it to supermarket and store owners to coax customers into packing their purchases in reusable containers, reports the LA Times.

A year ago, supervisors had ordered county lawyers to look into drafting a ban on non-recyclable bags altogether, following San Francisco’s lead. But the 90-day study that supervisors promised in April 2007 stretched into nine months, as grocers and retailers weighed in. By July, the California Grocers Assn., which represents 500 retailers in California and Nevada, had hired the lobbying firm of Rose & Kindel and, by December, had paid it more than $33,000, according to the Times.

With county executives prepared to seek only voluntary measure, a last-minute amendment was offered, lowering the bar for grocers and retailers even further. The final product approved by supervisors: A ban would be adopted only if the use of bags in unincorporated Los Angeles County did not decrease at least 30 percent by July 2010 and at least 65 percent by July 2013.

Earlier this month, The New York City Council passed a bill by the margin of 44-2 that requires large stores and retail chains to collect and recycle plastic bags.

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4 thoughts on “L.A. Plastic Bag Ban Unravels

  1. So I take it you don’t like single-use bags? Nobody seems to want us around anymore… It’s hard being a Bag Monster in the Age of Bag Bans! I can’t even get a job because of convenient reusable ChicoBags.

    For a good laugh (at my expense), and the latest info on Bag Bans with an entertaining twist, go to my blog: http://www.BagMonster.com

  2. A few comments.

    I find it sad that it only cost 33,000USD to turn the program into something truly great into something that will no doubt be nothing more than what is being done now.

    The irony is that I am sure there are 100,000USD spent to clean the bags up each year

    When are the politicians going to do something that actually benefits the people long term? when it comes to the environment, there are few items outside of plastic bags that have been of focus for so long, yet the same steps that were applauded in SF were abandoned in LA.

    Any alternative plans in place?

  3. I wish Chicago would ban plastic bags. Larger grocery stores have bins for plastic bag recycling, but I prefer places that encourage you to bring your own bags. The problem isn’t that we have plastic bags. The real problem is people do not reuse plastic bags until they are no longer usable, then put them out with the recyclables.

    Everyone has a bag that he/she can use more than once, a sturdy bag from another merchant can be reused and reused.

  4. Ironically, plastic bags are the most re-used form of garbage there is. It’s also ironic that we’re cutting down more trees to save the environment.

    For the average, bill-paying citizen, the ban on plastic bags means spending more time, money and energy carrying his/her groceries home. Meanwhile, oil consumption will not decrease. Huge SUVs keep rolling out while petroleum companies continue to whimsically raise the price of gas.

    Banning the use of plastic bags is an environmental red-herring. Obviously throwing plastic bags on the ground is not good. That’s why there are fines for littering.

    But, between pouring oil into the atmosphere with our cars and throwing plastic bags on the ground, the former seems worse. I wonder, what is the equivalent in plastic bags to an average car’s 25-gallon gas tank?

    Besides, if there’s one thing oil is good for, it’s for making plastic. Plastic is cheap, sanitary and easy to recycle.

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