L.A. County Votes to Ban Plastic Bags

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los angeles ban on plastic bagsThis week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a ban on single-use carryout bags at all grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies and drug stores located in the County’s unincorporated areas.

The vote bans stores from giving consumers single-use plastic bags. Store will also be required to charge 10 cents each for paper bags. The ordinance, which will go into effect  July 1, 2011, will not affect the 88 cities within county boundaries such as Long Beach.

As part of its approval, the Board supported an amendment by 4th District Supervisor Don Knabe which revised the definition of “reusable bag” to include language that a reusable bag can be cleaned or disinfected, not just machine washable.

“While I support the elimination of single-use bags, if there is going to be a ban, I believe it should be done at a statewide level, as the Board previously supported in AB 1998,” said Supervisor Don Knabe. “Rather than being punitive, we should provide incentives to encourage businesses to develop creative, green solutions, and therefore jobs, to our environmental challenges. That is why I asked for a change in language to today’s motion to ensure that we did not exclude many locally-owned manufacturing plants from producing reusable carryout bags. There are many types of materials that can be used to manufacture reusable bags, and we should not limit their use because they are not machine washable.”

A statewide ban on plastic bags was defeated earlier this year. However, several major metropolitan areas have acted to ban single-use bags including San Francisco and Washington D.C.

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