This is not a surprise that the City of Los Angeles has enacted a ban on plastic grocery bags. I mean, after all, Los Angeles has become the consummate “Nanny State.”
Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation Wednesday to approve a ban on plastic bags at supermarket checkout lines, handing a major victory to clean-water advocates who sought to reduce the amount of trash clogging landfills, the region’s waterways and the ocean.
Egged on by actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and an array of environmental groups, the City Council voted 13 to 1 to phase out plastic bags over the next 12 months at an estimated 7,500 stores. Councilman Bernard Parks cast the lone no vote.
“Let’s get the message to Sacramento that it’s time to go statewide,” said Councilman Ed Reyes, who has focused on efforts to revitalize the Los Angeles River.
Council members quietly backed away from a more controversial plan to also ban use of paper grocery bags, which was first proposed by appointees of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Wednesday’s vote kicks off a four-month environmental review of the bag ban, followed by passage of an ordinance putting it into effect. Larger stores would then have six months to phase out plastic bags and smaller markets a 12-month phase-out period. For paper bags, retailers would be required to charge 10 cents per bag starting one year after the plastic bag is enacted.
Councilman Paul Koretz, who pushed for the ban, said city officials would conduct a study in two years to determine whether the prohibition should be expanded to include paper. “My hope is that so few paper bags will be used as a result of this measure that the formal ban … on paper bags may not even be necessary,” he said.
The plan drew strong praise from environmental activists, who had long argued that L.A. needed to follow in the footsteps of San Jose, San Francisco and Long Beach and dozens of other municipalities.
“Plastic harms our environment. It is a threat to the coastal economy. It is a danger to marine life and it is an unconscionable burden to taxpayers who have to foot the bill for cleanups year after year,” said attorney H. David Nahai, a former top executive at the Department of Water and Power.
Employees of plastic bag manufacturers, wearing T-shirts reading “Don’t Kill My Job,” pleaded unsuccessfully for council members to change course, saying they feared they would soon be unemployed. “My family depends on my job and my benefits, too,” said Alejandro Ortega, a 10-year employee of manufacturer Crown Poly.
So, Los Angeles says go to hell to the employees of the plastic bag manufacturers and all of those jobs will be relocated out of Califonria. But, who cares, it will save clean up costs (doubtful) and save the whales or whatever environmental causes the left-wing Hollyweird types fancy.
Will the radical environmentalists be able to enact a state-wide ban?
But I will love to see the referendum fight after the left-wing Democratic Legislature votes for the ban and pissed off consumers line up to vote them and the ban down and out.
Here is a statement (from a press release) from the opponents of the plastic bag ban, the American Progressive Bag Alliance:
The Los Angeles City Council today voted to impose a draconian policy to ban plastic retail bags, a move that puts hundreds of Los Angeles area jobs at risk, without providing any benefit to the environment. The ordinance put in motion by the city council includes a ban on plastic retail bags and a ten cent tax on shoppers for the use of paper bags.
The following is a statement from Mark Daniels, Chair of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, an organization representing the United States’ plastic bag manufacturing and recycling sector, which employs 30,800 workers in 349 communities across the nation, 1,900 of whom are in California.
“By voting to ban plastic shopping bags, the City of Los Angeles put in motion a misguided and onerous policy that threatens the jobs of hundreds of Angelenos employed by the industry, and nearly 2,000 statewide, while pushing residents to less environmentally friendly reusable bags which are produced overseas and cannot be recycled. Los Angeles residents should be further concerned as this ordinance also calls for a regressive, hidden tax to be imposed without voter approval.Singling out and banning one product does not reduce litter and with this bag ban, the city chose to take a simplistic approach that takes away consumer choice instead of pursuing meaningful programs that encourage greater recycling of plastic bags and wraps, while preserving jobs.”
Good luck LA and your “Nanny State.”
I gave up on the City of Los Angeles decades ago.