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.


Plastic bag ban brings paper bag tax proposal to Millbrae

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The California plastic bag wars continue to heat up, this time in the city of Millbrae. A new city proposal would slap a 10-cent charge on paper bags provided by stores after joining cities like Long Beach, Malibu and Manhattan Beach in banning the use of plastic bags.

Like those other cities, Millbrae is looking to reduce the litter that inevitably comes from single-use plastic bags by encouraging that consumers utilize reusable shopping totes, of which there are many to choose from in the retail world. But the proposed 10-cent fee on paper bags is not sitting well with everyone, particularly the businesses that would be affected.

“We agree with the concept of reducing single-use bags from an environmental perspective,” Millbrae Chamber of Commerce President John Ford told the Millbrae Patch. “But we don’t necessarily think that charging people for paper bags is the best thing to do right now.”