Los Angeles Plastic Bag Ban Presents Opportunities For Green Bag Businesses And Eco-Friendly Companies!

In a previous blog post, we wrote about the city of Los Angeles and their vote to institute a citywide plastic bag ban. The Council unanimously voted in favor of the measure 13-1 after four years of debate.  To further recap, the ban will be phased in over the next year for businesses of 10,000 square feet or more and/or sales of $2 million or more annually. Larger stores within this group are required to go plastic bag free within 6 months of the date of the ban. Smaller stores have a full year to comply. When shopping in a plastic-bag-free store, consumers will be required to provide reusable shopping bags or pay 10 cents each for paper bags. Stores located in low income neighborhoods would be exempt from the 10 cent charge.

The sole holdout on the plastic bag ban vote was Councilman Bernard Parks who recalled that the ban on paper bags some years ago caused the current plastic bag problem. He expressed concerns that the results of a plastic bag ban might also be problematic.

Parks feared that reusable shopping bags might result in cross-contamination between meat, dairy and produce. He expressed concerns that people who are without home laundry facilities might be unable to keep their reusable shopping bags clean enough for safe use.

Parks said that he felt the city’s strong recycling efforts, which result in approximately 70% of city waste being recycled, were ample to address any green concerns. He expressed the opinion that the loss of income and jobs for factories and workers producing plastic bags were not adequately addressed.

Councilman Eric Garcetti, who supports the ban on plastic bags countered Councilman Parks concerns by pointing out that the use of disposable plastic bags was not common until circa 1975, yet prior to that time there were not problems with epidemic proportion commingling of bacteria from one type of food to another. He went on to say that many small cities have banned plastic bags without resulting health issues.

Councilman Garcetti praised the decision, which he believes will save the city of Los Angeles over $16 million in plastic bag clean-up annually. He said that, while he acknowledges that there will be some resultant job loss with this decision (in bag production and clean-up) there will also be an increase in green jobs (in reusable shopping bag production and maintenance).

Councilman Garcetti expressed the opinion that the plastic bag ban is a sustainable decision that will ultimately bode well for large and small businesses, individuals and the city of Los Angeles as a whole.

Facebook Comments

Filed under:Plastic Bag Ban

Comments are closed.