Tuesday, November 16, 2010

L.A. County Bans Plastic Bags

It’s official! The L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted to ban plastic bags this morning.

“We spend $18 Million a year to clean up and prevent litter in Los Angeles County,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas in today’s press release about the Board’s decision. “This bold measure is an economically and environmentally sustainable alternative to such a wasteful habit.”

Neighborhoods in Los Angeles County unincorporated areas will no longer get single-use plastic bags (except those thinner produce bags) at supermarkets and large retail pharmacies come July 1, 2011, and at liquor stores and food marts by January 1, 2012. Paper bags, so long as they’re made with 40% post-consumer recycled waste and 100% recyclable, will be available — for 10 cents each, with the money collected going to pay for the cost of the bags themselves, as well as the cost of complying with the ban and of educating customers about reusable bag use.

The ban comes after a failed voluntary plastic bag reduction program that the Board approved two years ago. Since that time, the anti-plastic-bag side’s grown louder and stronger. LA Now reports that this morning, dozens of environmentalists showed up to support the ban at a pre-Board meeting rally organized by Heal the Bay.

Keep in mind that this plastic bag ban doesn’t cover all of L.A. County — just the unincorporated areas. The City of Los Angeles and other local municipalities will need to pass their own bans — the same way the City of Malibu did back in 2008.

Note: Our freeways would look so much prettier without all the plastic flying around.


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