2nd Largest City in U.S.
Los Angeles, California, June 18, 2013 (PBBR) - Today the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance banning certain retailers from giving plastic bags to a customer. The City Council actually banned plastic bags last year. It has taken a year to get the Final EIR completed, submitted and approved.
The Final EIR was approved yesterday by the Energy and Environment Committee and sent to the full Council for consideration. Today, the Council approved the Final EIR and adopted the ordinance.
A historic day for the environment, the new ordinance will eliminate approximately 2.3 billion plastic single-use bags. Los Angeles is the 2nd largest city in the U.S. and the 3rd largest economy in the world. (1)
The law prohibits retailers from giving thin-film plastic bags to a customer. Plastic bags thicker than 2.25 mils will still be allowed.
The ordinance mandates that merchants must charge a ten-cents fee for each recyclable paper bag that a customer gets. The law also requires that reusable bags be made available to every customer, either free or for a fee.
At the City Council's meeting, Council members spoke about the proposed ordinance:
Paul Koretz talked of several environmental achievements by the City of Los Angeles and referred to this action in the same manner.
Mitchell Highlander: "We have to end our tradition of landfills. Plastic bags are like flying kites - blowing into our trees".
Bill Rosendahl: "Go see what plastic does to a fish."
Bernard Parks spoke about a study that reported that reusable bags pose a health risk because they're not clean. Paul Koretz came back and stated that the U.S. Consumer Products Commission states that there are 25 reported deaths per year from suffocation by plastic bags.
Richard Alarcon: This issue is similar to seat belt use and motorcycle helmets - people initially opposed laws to make seat belt use and motorcycle helmet use mandatory. "Society needs to wean ourselves from plastic bags", stated Mr. Alarcon.
Mr. Parks asked the question about the number of jobs that would be lost by banning plastic bags. He referred to the statement by the plastic bag industry that 30,000 jobs would be lost.
Capri Maddox and Bill Nutter of the city staff explained the real number of jobs that will be lost. See "Jobs Lost from the L.A. City Bag Ban"
Council voted and passed the ordinance by a vote of 11-1. The ordinance will be held for one week for second reading.
Copyright © 2013 Plastic Bag Ban Report. All Rights Reserved.
Cover photo: Los Angeles Business Skyscrapers. Uploaded to wikipedia.org. Released into public domain.