In California, nearly a dozen jurisdictions have banned plastic bags and placed a minimum price requirement on paper bags, in an effort to reduce all single-use bag waste. But Los Angeles City, Carpinteria, and Austin, Texas have taken their local ordinances one step further and proposed ordinances banning the distribution of both single-use paper and plastic bags.
An editorial in today's Los Angeles Times urges the LA City Council to amend the ordinance and allow single-use paper bags provided that there is a minimum price requirement attached to their distribution. Noting both the success of ordinances with fees and the fact that paper bags also have their share of environmental impact, the editorial asks for workable and effective modifications to an ordinance that would otherwise be "depriving consumers who haven't fully adopted the reusable-tote habit of a convenient and less environmentally damaging option."
Carpinteria’s City Council discussed a bag ordinance on Monday, December 12 and decided to target the four largest chain stores in the city (Albertsons, Vons, CVS, and Rite Aid) with its ordinance.
Tomorrow, Austin’s Solid Waste Advisory Commission will discuss and take action on a bag ordinance. If passed by City Council, the ordinance proposes to initially require a 25 cent charge on all single-use bags starting in January 2013, before limiting distribution to only reusable bags made from cloth, or thick plastic or paper, starting in January 2016. Read more about the ordinance.
Visit our Campaign to End Single-Use Plastic Bags page for more information on the issue, or Take Action on other current ordinances.
(photo credit: K. Djansezian, Getty Images)