Yesterday in a historic vote the Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 to ban the use of plastic shopping bags. This make it the largest city in the US to ban the use of plastic bags.
An environmental impact study will be done and once that is complete the ordinance can be adopted so the actual timeline of when it will take affect is not defined yet.
In 2010, LA county voted to ban plastic bags in unincorporated areas in the county. County officials have said that ban has reduced the use of “single use” plastic bags by 94% in those areas.
The measure comes at a time when plastic bags have come under fire heavily (and rightly so) by environmental groups and individuals. More and more people bring their own reusable bags to the store.
The environmental group Save The Bay lobbied hard for this measure and was present at City Hall yesterday including board member and actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus she said, while holding up a plastic bag, “unlike most other ugly, dangerous and expensive things, we cannot get rid of these overnight” talking about all the plastic waste in our oceans.
We all know that plastic bags are the second most common item found in the ocean after cigarette butts. For an area that loves their beaches and has built a culture around enjoying those beaches it seems appropriate that this measure was adopted.
LA has shown itself to be model for other large (and small) cities to follow!
Check out the hash tag #banthebagla to see people’s pictures from city hall!
Image from Sea-thos Foundation