Stores in several cities are plastic bag-free starting today.
The city of Davis adopted a plastic bag ban on November 12, 2013, and many in the town are excited for the long awaited July 1st implementation day. Similar to other ordinances, plastic bags are now banned and paper and reusable bags are available for a small charge in all retail stores. However, Davis goes even further by including restaurants as well as stores. Davis, a college town outside of Sacramento with a population of over 65,000, was the first city in Yolo County to adopt a plastic bag ban.
Today marks the launch of phase two of the LA City Single-Use Plastic Bag ordinance, which prohibits distribution of single-use plastic bags, and requires a $0.10 charge on recyclable paper bags for all grocers, drug stores, and convenience stores and food markets. Phase one of the ordinance, effective January 1, 2014, only applied to the larger stores (supermarkets and drug stores) within the city. Starting today, small grocery and convenience stores must also meet the same standards.
Councilmember Paul Krekorian, district 2, sees this as "…an important next step for our city" and notes the already instrumental change phase one has made. "Since the plastic bag ban for large stores took effect in January, Angelenos have started to shift the way they get groceries. We are more conscious about how these bags hurt the environment. By expanding the ban to all grocery stores and markets, Los Angeles is truly showing our commitment to a more responsible and sustainable future," he says.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, author of the ordinance, teamed up with Green Vets LA and Homebody Industries to introduce the "L.A. Epic Reusable Bag Giveaway". The ultimate goal of the project is to provide a free reusable bag, made by veterans employed by Green Vets LA, to every one of the nearly four million residents in the city of Los Angeles. Free reusable bags will help create a smooth transition into the reusable world, and help LA continue to be a leader in Plastic Bag reduction.
The city of El Cerrito adopted their plastic bag ban on September 17, 2013, which banned plastic grocery bags and added a charge on paper and reusable bags in all retail stores. While it became operative January 1, 2014, today marks the official enforcement date for non-compliant businesses. The city hopes this will make their make their ordinance even more successful.
Learn about a state-wide solution, SB 270.
photo credit: California Greenworks, LA Times