Getting hooked on plastic bag bans
I’ve railed against plastic bags before in this space, so it was with glee that I read the Los Angeles Times today (legacy edition with black coffee and oatmeal) to find the Santa Monica City Council voted to ban them, beginning in September. Oh, and that vote was unanimous.
How many plastic bags do the good citizens of this beach city use in a year, you rightly ask? The advocacy group Heal the Bay estimates the number in excess of 25 million.
According to the piece, Heal the Bay began pushing the issue two years ago, which stalled amid industry threats of a lawsuit. After the city’s environmental review of the proposed ordinance, the language was softened to include reusable polyethylene bags. These bags, according to an L.A. County environmental study, are stronger than single-use bags, and can be wiped clean, a good start for using them over again, instead of tossing in the garbage.
That pleased the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, which praised the changes.
And, stores will now be able to charge a dime per paper bag within city limits. To avoid fees, just bring your own.
So far, single-use bag bans have been approved in :
— Los Angeles County
— Marin County
— San Jose
Next week, Calabasas considers whether it wants to join the growing movement.
Anyway, if you’re reading this at work, take a peek at a preview for “Plastic Planet,” a new doc from Europe. I’m wary of “shock-jock docs,” which seem so evenly reported, but many times stack the deck a la the later works of Michael Moore. Admittedly, I’ve only watched the trailer, but will rent it.
See you on the (cleaner) river, Jim Burns