LA County’s Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance
Posted by Ted Duboise
Here is the 2100-Word Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance adopted by the County of Los Angeles, California, USA.
This ordinance amends Title 12 – Environmental Protection of the Los Angeles County Code, by adding a Chapter regulating the use of plastic carryout bags and recyclable paper carryout bags and promoting the use of reusable bags within the County unincorporated area.
Pursuant to this new Chapter, plastic carryout bags, as defined, may no longer be distributed by affected stores and a 10-cent ($0.10) charge for recyclable paper carryout bags distributed by those stores will apply.
ANDREA SHERIDAN ORDIN
TRUC L. MOORE
Deputy County Counsel
Public Works Division
09/23/1 0 (Requested)
1 0/22/1 0 (Revised)
An ordinance amending Title 12 – Environmental Protection of the Los Angeles County Code, relating to regulating the use of plastic carryout bags and recyclable paper carryout bags and promoting the use of reusable bags within the County unincorporated area.
The Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles ordains as follows:
SECTION 1. Chapter 12.85 is hereby added to read as follows:
The following definitions apply to this Chapter:
A. “Customer” means any person purchasing goods from a store.
B. “Operator” means the person in control of, or having the responsibility for, the operation of a store, which may include, but is not limited to, the owner of the store.
C. “Person” means any natural person, firm, corporation, partnership, or other organization or group however organized.
D. “Plastic carryout bag” means any bag made predominantly of plastic derived from either petroleum or a biologically-based source, such as corn or other plant sources, which is provided to a customer at the point of sale. “Plastic carryout bag” includes compostable and biodegradable bags but does not include reusable bags, produce bags, or product bags.
E. “Post-consumer recycled material” means a material that would otherwise be destined for solid waste disposal, having completed its intended end use and product life cycle. “Post-consumer recycled material” does not include materials and by-products generated from, and commonly reused within, an original manufacturing and fabrication process.
F. “Produce bag” or “product bag” means any bag without handles used exclusively to carry produce, meats, or other food items to the point of sale inside a store or to prevent such food items from coming into direct contact with other purchased items.
G. “Recyclable” means material that can be sorted, cleansed, and reconstituted using available recycling collection programs for the purpose of using the altered form in the manufacture of a new product. “Recycling” does not include burning, incinerating, converting, or otherwise thermally destroying solid waste.
H. “Recyclable paper carryout bag” means a paper bag that meets all of the following requirements: (1) contains no old growth fiber, (2) is one hundred percent (100%) recyclable overall and contains a minimum of forty percent (40%) post-consumer recycled material; (3) is capable of composting, consistent with the timeline and specifications of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard D6400; (4) is accepted for recycling in curbside programs in the County; (5) has printed on the bag the name of the manufacturer, the location (country) where the bag was manufactured, and the percentage of post-consumer recycled material used; and (6) displays the word “Recyclable” in a highly visible manner on the outside of the bag.
I. “Reusable bag” means a bag with handles that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse and meets all of the following requirements: (1) has a minimum lifetime of 125 uses, which for purposes of this subsection, means the capability of carrying a minimum of 22 pounds 125 times over a distance of at least 175 feet; (2) has a minimum volume of 15 liters; (3) is machine washable; (4) does not contain lead, cadmium, or any other heavy metal in toxic amounts; (5) has printed on the bag, or on a tag that is permanently affixed to the bag, the name of the manufacturer, the location (country) where the bag was manufactured, a statement that the bag does not contain lead, cadmium, or any other heavy metal in toxic amounts, and the percentage of post-consumer recycled material used, if any; and (6) if made of plastic, is a minimum of at least 2.25 mils thick.
J. “Store” means any of the following retail establishments located within the unincorporated area of the County:
(1) A full-line, self-service retail store with gross annual sales of two millon dollars ($2,000,000), or more, that sells a line of dry grocery, canned goods, or nonfood items and some perishable items;
(2) A store of at least 10,000 square feet of retail space that generates sales or use tax pursuant to the Bradley-Burns Uniform Local Sales and Use Tax Law (Part 1.5 (commencing with Section 7200) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code) and that has a pharmacy licensed pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 4000) of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code; or (3) A drug store, pharmacy, supermarket, grocery store, convenience food store, foodmart, or other entity engaged in the retail sale of a limited line of goods that includes milk, bread, soda, and snack foods, including those stores with a Type 20 or 21 license issued by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
12.85.020 Plastic carryout bags prohibited.
A. No store shall provide to any customer a plastic carryout bag.
B. This prohibition applies to bags provided for the purpose of carrying away goods from the point of sale and does not apply to produce bags or product bags.
12.85.030 Permitted bags.
All stores shall provide or make available to a customer only recyclable paper carryout bags or reusable bags for the purpose of carrying away goods or other materials from the point of sale, subject to the terms of this Chapter. Nothing in this Chapter prohibits customers from using bags of any type that they bring to the store themselves or from carrying away goods that are not placed in a bag, in lieu of using bags provided by the store.
12.85.040 Regulation of recyclable paper carryout bags.
A. Any store that provides a recyclable paper carryout bag to a customer must charge the customer 10 cents ($0.10) for each bag provided, except as otherwise provided in this Chapter.
B. No store shall rebate or otherwise reimburse a customer any portion of the 10-cent ($0.10) charge required in Subsection A, except as otherwise provided in this Chapter.
C. All stores must indicate on the customer receipt the number of recyclable paper carryout bags provided and the total amount charged for the bags.
D. All monies collected by a store under this Chapter wil be retained by the store and may be used only for any of the following purposes: (1) costs associated with complying with the requirements of this Chapter, (2) actual costs of providing recyclable paper carryout bags, or (3) costs associated with a store’s educational materials or education campaign encouraging the use of reusable bags, if any.
E. All stores must report to the Director of Public Works, on a quarterly basis, the total number of recyclable paper carryout bags provided, the total amount of monies collected for providing recyclable paper carryout bags, and a summary of any efforts a store has undertaken to promote the use of reusable bags by customers in the prior quarter. Such reporting must be done on a form prescribed by the Director of Public Works, and must be signed by a responsible agent or officer of the store confirming that the information provided on the form is accurate and complete. For the periods from January 1 through March 31, April 1 through June 30, July 1 through September 30, and October 1 through December 31, all quarterly reporting must be submitted no later than 30 days after the end of each quarter.
F. If the reporting required in Subsection E is not timely submitted by a store, such store shall be subject to the fines set forth in Section 12.85.080.
12.85.050 Use of reusable bags.
A. All stores must provide reusable bags to customers, either for sale or at no charge.
B. Each store is strongly encouraged to educate its staff to promote reusable bags and to post signs encouraging customers to use reusable bags.
12.85.060 Exempt customers.
All stores must provide at the point of sale, free of charge, either reusable bags or recyclable paper carryout bags or both, at the store’s option, to any customer participating either in the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 123275) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 106 of the Health and Safety Code or in the Supplemental Food Program pursuant to Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 15500) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
12.85.070 Operative date.
This Chapter shall become operative on July 1, 2011, for stores defined in Subsections J(1) and J(2) of Section 12.85.010. For stores defined in Subsection J(3) of Section 12.85.010, this Chapter shall become operative on January 1, 2012.
12.85.080 Enforcement and violation-penalty.
A. The Director of Public Works has primary responsibilty for enforcement of this Chapter. The Director of Public Works is authorized to promulgate regulations and to take any and all other actions reasonable and necessary to enforce this Chapter, including, but not limited to, investigating violations, issuing fines and entering the premises of any store during business hours. The Director of the Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures and the Director of Public Health may assist with this enforcement responsibility by entering the premises of a store as part of their regular inspection functions and reporting any alleged violations to the Director of Public Works.
B. If the Director of Public Works determines that a violation of this Chapter has occurred, he/she will issue a written warning notice to the operator of a store that a violation has occurred and the potential penalties that will apply for future violations.
C. Any store that violates or fails to comply with any of the requirements of this Chapter after a written warning notice has been issued for that violation shall be guilty of an infraction.
D. If a store has subsequent violations of this Chapter that are similar in kind to the violation addressed in a written warning notice, the following penalties will be imposed and shall be payable by the operator of the store:
(1) A fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00) for the first violation after the written warning notice is given;
(2) A fine not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200.00) for the second violation after the written warning notice is given; or
(3) A fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00) for the third and any subsequent violations after the written warning notice is given.
E. A fine shall be imposed for each day a violation occurs or is allowed to continue.
F. All fines collected pursuant to this Chapter shall be deposited in the Solid Waste Management Fund of the Department of Public Works to assist the department with its costs of implementing and enforcing the requirements of this Chapter.
G. Any store operator who receives a written warning notice or fine may request an administrative review of the accuracy of the determination or the propriety of any fine issued, by filing a written notice of appeal with the Director of Public Works no later than 30 days after receipt of a written warning notice or fine, as applicable. The notice of appeal must include all facts supporting the appeal and any statements and evidence, including copies of all written documentation and a list of any witnesses, that the appellant wishes to be considered in connection with the appeal. The appeal will be heard by a hearing officer designated by the Director of Public Works. The hearing officer will conduct a hearing concerning the appeal within 45 days from the date that the notice of appeal is filed, or on a later date if agreed upon by the appellant and the County, and will give the appellant 10 days prior written notice of the date of the hearing. The hearing officer may sustain, rescind, or modify the written warning notice or fine, as applicable, by written decision. The hearing officer will have the power to waive any portion of the fine in a manner consistent with the decision. The decision of the hearing officer is final and effective on the date of service of the written decision, is not subject to further administrative review, and constitutes the final administrative decision.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase of this ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid by a decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, that decision will not affect the validity of the remaining portions of the ordinance. The Board of Supervisors hereby declares that it would have passed this ordinance and each and every section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase not declared invalid or unconstitutional without regard to whether any portion of this ordinance would be subsequently declared invalid.
12.85.10 No conflict with federal or state law.
Nothing in this ordinance is intended to create any requirement, power or duty that is in conflict with any federal or state law.