Southern California environment news and trends

LA closer to considering single-use bag ban

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A Los Angeles City Council meeting this week moved ahead with the recommendation that all single-use plastic and paper bags be eliminated from the city’s supermarkets and food stores.

As reported by the L.A. Times, the council’s Energy and Environment Committee proposed an environmental review on such a ban as well as an ordinance that would establish it. If the ban were to be approved, stores would have a six-month “warning” period where plastic bags would have to be phased out. Once the ban would theoretically kick in, stores would have to charge 10 cents per paper bag used in any given transaction. Six months after that, paper bags would be eliminated as well, requiring all shoppers to bolster their tote bag collection.

“People will adjust,” said Councilman Dennis Zine to the L.A. Times. “They’ll adapt… and learn to take it with them,” he added in regards to reusable bags.

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Plastic bag coalition fights back at San Francisco ban

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In 2007, San Francisco was the first city in America to ban those pesky (and ubiquitous) plastic bags. Targeting large supermarkets and chain drugstores, the ban was expanded earlier this year to include a wider range of retailers and impose a 10-cent tax on all outgoing single bags. Plastic bag manufacturers have had enough.

As reported by Courthouse News Service, the Plastic Bag Coalition (made up of big plastic bag producers like Crown Poly) is asking the city of San Francisco to invalidate the entire law banning single-use plastic bags, claiming that it violates the California Environmental Quality Act and the California Retail Food Code, among other complaints.

“A 10-cent fee is, or may be, far too low to act as an effective incentive to promote the use of reusable bags,” argued attorney Steve Joseph in the motion filed last week on behalf of the Save The Plastic Bag Coalition and reported in Huffington Post. “No one will carry a reusable bag with them for unplanned impulse buying. Very few people will carry a reusable bag to Macy’s or other department stores to save a dime.”

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