Shoppers in many Southern California cities were urged today to go without a disposable bag. The event, dubbed "Day without a Bag" is being sponsored by LA City, LA County and other municipalities and attempts to bring awareness to the fact that Californians use an estimated 20 billion disposable plastic shopping bags annually. Susan Abram writes in the LA Daily News:
And state taxpayers dole out 17 cents each time a bag is collected and disposed of, a cost of $50 million a year, according to published reports. How are they going to tackle the problem? It's about leadership," [Heal the Bay Director Mark] Gold said. "San Francisco was by far more bold. But I believe (Los Angeles officials) are taking it very seriously from various perspectives."
Earlier this year, San Francisco, Oakland and Fairfax banned the free distribution of plastic shopping bags. Oakland and Fairfax were sued by a consortium of plastic bag manufacturers; Fairfax was forced to drop its ordinance, Oakland is fighting in court to retain theirs. CAW-sponsored AB 2449 recently required California grocery stores to recycle plastic bags if they distribute them for free, and requires stores to offer reusable bags.