Welcome Los Angeles to the growing list of countries and municipalities that are taking a stand against plastic bags. Following in the footsteps of Australia, China, Israel, Melbourne, San Francisco and others, the City of Los Angeles has jumped on the plastic bag ban bandwagon to stop the persistent environmental hazards from entering the LA waste stream by 2010.
The city council voted to ban plastic bags effective on July 1, 2010. The vote is a timely pressure point for the state to pass an Assembly bill (AB 2058) next month that addresses recycling issues and a fee for plastic bags. The tactics are a step in the right direction, especially considering that LA’s locale is prime for direct pollution of plastic into the Pacific Ocean.
LA and California seem to be on the right track in terms of at least addressing the huge problem of plastic – LA consumers use some 2.3 billion bags. Only about 5 percent of those plastic bags are recycled, leaving the remainder to swirl in the winds and tides posing a hazard to wildlife and humans. The city is also stepping it up with a ban on Styrofoam at city facilities by 2009.