The Board of Los Angles County Supervisors will decide today whether to ban the use of single use plastic bags throughout the unincorporated parts of the county.
The supervisors are considering a ban because county retailers failed to meet the voluntary reduction targets that were set by them in 2008 of at least 30 percent by July 2010 and 65 percent by July 2013.
Ban supporters will rally on the main entrance steps of the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration located at 500 West Temple Street, Los Angeles today at 8:30 a.m. before the board’s 9:30 a.m. meeting.
If approved single use plastic bags will start to be phased out beginning in July 2011 and paper bags made out of recycled materials would be made available for a green fee of 10 cents. The goal of the ban is to encourage shoppers to use reusable bags.
The City of Santa Monica considered a proposed ordinance to ban the use of single-use plastic bags in the city in 2008 but delayed its consideration so that a master environmental assessment could be done with other California counties and cities.
A 2008 Santa Monica City staff report stated that a ban is being sought because plastic bags are a significant part of litter in the environment. It also noted that plastic bags could easily be carried by wind and water. Therefore, they are large contributors to the free-floating plastic debris in marine environments because they do not biodegrade. Marine animals frequently mistake plastic pieces for food or become tangled up in them.
A new California law, AB2449, went into effect July 2007 that required supermarkets and other retail stores that are greater than 10,000 square feet with a licensed pharmacy to collect, transport, or recycle plastic carryout bags, and to have reusable bags available for sale.
California taxpayers spend over $25 million annually to collect and landfill the more than 19 million plastic bags that are used in the state each year.