LA County’s Plastic Bag Ban – An Ordinance Whose Time Has Come

LA County’s Plastic Bag Ban – An Ordinance Whose Time Has Come

Those words were spoken by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting on November 16, just before the Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance was passed.  Supervisor Yaroslavsky stated in his talk that, when AB1998 was before the state, that several members of the the Board of Supervisors warned, that if the statewide issue didn't pass, the next step would be for local government to take on the issue themselves.

Los Angeles County is the largest county in the nation, population-wise.  If it were it's own state, it would be the 8th largest state in the Union.  Los Angeles County is home to over 10 million residents and 88 cities.  When LA County passes an ordinance of this magnitude, other jurisdictions take notice.

LA County is governed by a 5-member Board of Supervisors, elected by voters of each respective district.  The Board of Supervisors acts as the 'City Council" in unincorporated areas.  65% of the county is unincorporated serving more than 200 communities.  The plastic bag ban ordinance is only effective in the unincorporated areas of the county.

The County did a comprehensive EIR covering the entire county.  It is hoped, and most likely will come to pass, that the cities of the county will adopt the ordinance.  With the EIR already completed and the ordinance already written, the cities would basically simply have to vote to adopt the plastic bag ban ordinance.  Several cities of the county have already voiced their support of the ban.

As with Los Angeles County and Sunnyvale, many cities were waiting and hoping that AB1998 would pass statewide.  Now that it hasn't, watch for numerous California cities to pass a single-use plastic bag ban.  The American Chemical Council and Stephen Joseph are going to be very busy in the coming months.

Read the full text of L A County's Plastic Bag Ordinance

Photo: "LA County Population Density". Courtesy US Census Bureau