Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Los Angeles City Council may move on a bag ban


So, a side effect of a really long feed-in tariff hearing at the Energy and Environment committee at LA city hall was that it delayed action on a possible disposable bag ban in Los Angeles.

Californians Against Waste says 16 cities and counties have banned plastic disposable bags. Los Angeles County banned ‘em in unincorporated areas; Long Beach, Malibu, Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach and Calabasas have banned ‘em too. (Bag bans are cousins to polystyrene bans, which are about 3 times more popular. That’s a different story.) Santa Monica based Heal the Bay lobbied hard, pulling out all the stops for a statewide plastic bag ban, and got stymied. An El Lay ban would be a big victory for environmentalists.

Back in October, LA’s Board of Public Works reported to city council on a long-considered ban on single-use carryout bags. (You might recall that other cities, particularly beach ones, have gotten all up on this already.) BPW recommended that the city announce support for a ban, that the city attorney start writing up an ordinance, and that the city hire people to get a ban going in LA.

The Energy and Environment committee was supposed to talk about that Tuesday. Except they ran out of time. And if you’re looking to me to tell you where they’re going to do something next, I sort of can’t help you.

In theory, we’ll hear the ban tomorrow in the full city council.Except it hasn’t gotten a public hearing yet. (Ban-opponent letters from the American Chemistry Council and supporter letters from greens don’t count.) It’s on for Friday, again at EE committee, too, in a special meeting at 9 AM.

Under council rules they could get into the nitty-gritty of a bag ban tomorrow. Rule 54 would allow them to do that, by majority vote. But usually, they like to let a lot of talking happen…especially on something that has such ardent supporters and opponents. It could get exciting real quick around City Hall this week for people who want to see fewer plastic bags in the LA river, in trees, or in the ocean.