July 17 - Long Beach Makes Smooth Transition to Bag Ban
Submitted by Recycling News on July 17, 2012 - 15:24.
The City of Long Beach has been slowly phasing out single-use plastic bags for almost a year now and according to Jim Kuhl, Long Beach Environmental Services Bureau Manager, retailers and consumers have been doing a splendid job.
The bill banning plastics bags (No. ORD-11-0009) began implementation in August of last year and started with large retailers by eliminating plastic bags and adding a paper bag charge. Starting 2012, the ban applied to small retailers such as food marts and convenience stores.
While consumers weren’t acquainted with the bag ban initially, most caught on quickly and now educational decals and signs are no longer needed at retail locations. Tim Mitchell, who directs the Ralph's at Marina Pacifica, notes that his store took down most ban notifications because they weren’t necessary anymore.
A year later, 80% of Ralph’s Marina Pacifica customers bring reusable bags when they shop; but Ralphs is only one of the many retailers in Long Beach that made the bag ban a reality. Superior Super Warehouse manager, Salvador Rios, promoted education about the ban and now even offers a free reusable bag with $20 purchase.
Generally, ESB Manager Jim Kuhl thinks the ban has been a huge success.
The bill was authored by Assembly member Brownley and would keep retailers statewide from giving out plastic bags while charging for paper bags. If we want to see sustainable behavior statewide like the reusable bag rates at Ralph’s, we need legislation like AB 298 to pass.
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