Los Angeles City Council Votes to Ban Plastic Shopping Bags by July 2010 (Maybe)
Better late than never, I suppose -- though LA's planned 2010 citywide ban still seems downright meek given that San Francisco, Australia and, yes, even China have already or are in the process of implementing a ban. And, of course, it's important to note that this plan will only go through if (and it's a big if) the state fails in its attempt to impose a 25-cent surcharge.
This isn't the first time LA has toyed around with the idea of a ban. The LA County Board of Supervisors raised environmental groups' ire when it watered down crucial provisions of a plastic pollution measure. Under pressure from the plastic bag industry, the board decided to shelve its vote on an outright ban until at least 2010. Enter the plastic bag industry
This new vote by the LA City Council is likely to engender vigorous opposition from the plastic bag industry, represented by the creatively named Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, which has already filed a lawsuit challenging a LA County measure to lower plastic bag use 30% by 2010.
Plastic bag tax: less ideal, but more feasible?
It seems clear at this point that most legislators favor a fee instead of an outright ban. As Richard Alarcon, a councilmember, told LAT reporter David Zahniser, the vote is intended more as a prod to get lawmakers to adopt a tax. While the ban may be a more ideal solution, the tax has a better chance of being approved.
At this point, any measure that could help LA significantly cut down on its outsized plastic bag consumption -- 2.3 billion a year and going strong -- would be a welcome relief.
Image from thingermejig
Following the plastic bag debate in Los Angeles
::Ban or No Ban: The Debate over Plastic Bags in LA (UPDATED)
::California State Assembly to Consider Imposing 25-Cent Plastic Bag Fee