Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors bans single-use plastic bags

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The most common complaints about plastic bags were that they destroyed the environment and were wholly unnecessary.

“There’s a very viable alternative, and that’s cloth or canvas bags, and there’s no reason for us to have to decide between paper or plastic,” said Gail Wilke, a San Fernando resident and ban supporter.

The ban will take about six months to go into effect. A similar ban was proposed at the state level earlier this year, but it was ultimately defeated. The Los Angeles County ordinance does not include the city of Los Angeles, but County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky says it will set the standard for other local cities to follow suit.

“We warned at the time that if the state doesn’t pass a uniform ban, there will be local bans popping up all over the place,” Yaroslavsky said. “And this is the first one, at least the first one of any major county.”

Yaraslovsky cites Santa Monica and Culver City as two other cities gearing up to implement their own bans. The average American uses an average of 500 bags per year. That is more than 19 billion bags total being used countrywide.

While some think lugging a reusable bag to the market is inconvenient, environmental groups say it is worth the extra effort. Heal the Bay blames plastic bags for polluting the ocean and destroying sea life. Mark Gold, the executive director of Heal the Bay, says that bags do not just end up on the beach.

“When you look at the LA River, it looks like we have plastic bag trees,” Gold said. “When you look at the ocean after a rain, and it looks like a trash dump, those days have to stop.”

Opponents of the ban say it will cause lay-offs in the plastics industry and narrow the job market at a time of soaring unemployment rates. Supporters say it will not eliminate jobs, but it will create a new market of green, eco-friendly jobs.

China, India and Bangladesh have all banned the use of single-use bags. American supporters of the plastic bag ban are hoping California will be next.


  1. I believe all this is backed up by the manufactures of plastic trash bags. They are loosing money because people use their grocery plastic bag for the trash. Now everybody will have to buy plastic trash bags everything will continue the same, the only difference is that will have to pay 10c for the paper bags and will have to carry only 2 at the times, not several like we can with the plastic bags, and the manufacturers of plastic trash bags will also be happy because they will be making more money.
    But at the end the amount of plastic bags in the trash field will be the same, the only diference will be that will have to pay for them.
    I believe biodegradable disposable bags will be the best solutions and a cheaper solution.
    The only one hurt in all this will be the stores, because people will be doing less shopping around if they have to pay 10c por each bags.

  2. Stu Miller says:

    The best solution is biodegradable disposable bags, a product widely available today and something Cereplast specializes in (http://www.cereplast.com, NASDAQ:CERP). You get the convenience of disposable without a lower carbon-footprint and no land or water pollution.

  3. Kathy Prince says:

    Another solution is biodegradable bags that will compost within 180 days. http://ecosmartproducts.net provides various sizes from lawn size, kitchen, to small sizes. If biodegradable does not work for you then at least carry your own reuseable cloth bags when you shop. This is only one small step to making a greener environment. As for cost..think of the clean up our children will face

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