Two years after being adopted by the City Council, Long Beach’s bag ban ordinance is running smoothly, according to the Long Beach Press Telegram.
Long Beach Environmental Services Bureau Manager Jim Kuhl said there’s been virtually no push back and credits an extensive public outreach and education campaign for the change in habits by both retailers and consumers.
The ban’s sponsor, Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal, said the lack of reported problems shows the law was "the right thing to do. "What it tells me is that for the most part, we all want the same things," Lowenthal said. "We want a clean environment, we want a healthy environment and we want an improved quality of life. We want to make sure we’re living in a city that’s sustainable."
Long Beach is currently the largest city in California with a bag ordinance in effect. When LA City’s ordinance goes into effect in January, it will be the largest city in both the state and the country to be covered under an ordinance banning disposable plastic grocery bags.
California communities spend up to $100 million annually to clean up the plastic bag litter that results from 13 billion bags being produced each year. So it’s no wonder they’re taking steps to reduce plastic bag use in the absence of a statewide ban. Communities should keep taking action and continue to push for a statewide solution.