1st Phase Began August 1st
The City of Long Beach, California implemented the first phase of its plastic bag ban on August 1st, 2011. Affecting only large retailers, the first phase has achieved 100% compliance rate by large retailers who sell food and perishable goods.
Passed by a 6-2 margin, the Long Beach City Council decided in December, 2010 to ban plastic bags. The ordinance was drafted and ratified in May, 2011.
The second phase of the ban becomes effective January 1st, 2012 and will require all retailers, including small shops, to stop distributing plastic carryout bags. The plastic bag ban ordinance also requires merchants to charge a fee of ten cents for each recyclable paper bag requested by the customer.
According to Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, “Our plastic bag ban has been very successful in helping to reduce litter in our neighborhoods; reduce plastic debris in our waterways and storm drains; and reduce waste transported to landfills. By promoting the use of reusable bags and expanding the ban, we are helping to make Long Beach an even cleaner city to live, work and visit.”
The smaller retailers include pharmacies, supermarkets, convenience food stores, food marts, and other entities engaged in the retail sale of a limited goods including milk, bread, soda, and snack foods.
To help smaller retailers prepare for the ban, the City of Long Beach has bilingual outreach and marketing materials, including customer information flyers, decals for doors or windows and counter posters. Many small retailers have already begun to eliminate the use of plastic bags.