The Los Angeles and Santa Barbara City Councils each voted this week to move forward with plans to ban plastic checkout bags and place a ten-cent fee on paper bags at grocery stores, convenience stores and similar retailers within each of their respective city limits. Both cities have held a series of public hearings on the issue and both have made a strong commitment to draft final ordinance language and perform the appropriate environmental review. Once those are done the will be a final series of votes, hopefully by the end of summer.
The Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 to move forward with a plastic bag ban / reusable bag ordinance. If Los Angeles gives final approval later this year it would pass San Francisco as the largest city in the United States with a plastic bag ban. It’s been a long process, over five years in the making, and the Surfrider South Bay LA and West LA/Malibu Chapters are happy to work on the issue with the Clean Seas Coalition and other great organizations such as Heal The Bay, Environment California and 5 Gyres.
It seems like everyone and their mother’s uncle’s landscaper is hopping onto the movement of banning inefficient plastic containers as of late. One can’t help to wonder if the Concord Ban had anything to do with accelerating this ban in California. Whether or not the reduction of plastic container consumption should be enforced by a city ban will be a continued debate as these initiatives continue to develop.