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Weho Plastic Bag Ban Begins for Large Stores

Supermarkets, pharmacies and retail stores bigger than 10,000 square feet must stop distributing single-use plastic shopping bags.

The following is a press release from the city of West Hollywood.

The West Hollywood Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance (Plastic Bag Ban) goes into effect for retail establishments and supermarkets of at least 10,000 square feet on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 and for retail establishments smaller than 10,000 square feet on Tuesday, August 20, 2013.

The ordinance bans single-use carryout shopping bags at the point of sale from all pharmacy, grocery, and retail stores in West Hollywood.

The City’s Plastic Bag Ban is based on the ban currently in effect in Los Angeles County. It is similar to laws in neighboring cities, including Santa Monica, Malibu, Calabasas and Long Beach.

The purpose of the ban on single-use plastic bags is to encourage sustainability by substituting plastic bags with durable and long-lasting reusable bags and paper bags made from recycled materials; as well as reduce costs to businesses, consumers, taxpayers and the environment. A ban on single-use plastic bags eliminates a major source of litter and marine debris and helps to create local green jobs.

Through this initiative, residents have the opportunity to personally contribute toward reducing waste in the City.

Impacted retail businesses will include the following:

  • Supermarkets and large retail establishments over 10,000 square feet
  • Small retail stores under 10,000 square feet
  • 10-cent fee for paper bags to be retained by each retailer to help cover the costs of stocking paper bags and any related outreach or promotional efforts.
  • Paper bags will be required to contain 40% post-consumer recycled content.

Exemptions include the following:

  • Customers who qualify for subsidized groceries will be exempt from the paper bag fee.
  • Light-weight plastic bags without handles for transporting produce and raw meat products to the point of sale.
  • Restaurants and other food service providers who provide plastic bags to customers for prepared take-out food intended for off-premises consumption.
  • Dry cleaners and farmers markets.

For more information, regarding the Plastic Bag Ban, please visit www.weho.org/plasticbagban.

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George February 20, 2013 at 05:13 PM
I'm NOT happy about this one bit! I've been stock piling plastic bags for the last couple of months foreseeing this absurd ban. The plastic bags are quite useful for numerous things like trash, picking up after animals and many other things. A study in the Bay area which banned plastic in 2007 shows that it has not made one bit of difference regarding land fills etc....... Also, many of these companies that produce these bags have had to lay off thousands of people ONLY adding to the bleek unemployment figures. I can understand even though I do not agree with it banning plastic in beach areas but not within the city. I'm just one person with an opinion and I am not happy about the ban. Sadly, it makes no difference.
scott ferguson February 20, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Kudos to the city for doing this. I have been using my own more substantial bags for years. The damage to the environment from the making of these and then what happens afterward is considerable. Another reason to be proud of the leadership of our City Council.
George February 21, 2013 at 05:24 PM
That's your bias opinion Scott. All I am hearing is how inconvenienced people are with the ban on plastic. Whats next? I use the plastic bags for household use as well as transporting my items purchased from the store. The reusable bags tend to collect germs and contaminate food purchased and placed in them. The bags are heavy and bulky. I am glad I stock piled the plastic bags these last few months so I won't be inconvenienced right away.
scott ferguson February 21, 2013 at 09:49 PM
Then go out and buy yourself some plastic bags. No one is stopping you from doing so. It's not illegal to possess or use them. What's the problem? Just that you aren't getting them for free anymore?
George February 21, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Yes but doing ones shopping with plastic provided for transporting groceries to ones dwelling is much more convenient. They should be able to give customers the opinion as they have been until these bans starting poping up first in SF. Studies show the plastic ban hasn't helped in the Bay area.
George Martin February 22, 2013 at 01:39 AM
I just went to the market today and paid ten cents per paper bag. Now I either have to spend ten cents a day to throw out my garbage or spend more on a kitchen can in my small kitchen. Unintended consequences.
me February 22, 2013 at 01:50 AM
some might credit the city council but of course they are just copying what has been happening around the globe for years....i've used and recycled these bags for years, but i'll deal.....i'll bring my own ........it's just about getting into the habit for me......no biggie....change is good, right?
George February 22, 2013 at 06:21 AM
Good news! For those who enjoy the plastic bags for transporting there groceries from the store to home will be delighted to know rock & roll "Ralph's on Sunset is not part of the West Hollywood ban so for now anyway they have plastic bag as per usual. The manager said she wasn't sure for how long however. I like Ralph's better the "Pavillion's" in West Hollywood anyway. Much better prices!!!
Karen February 24, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Please feel free to walk around your neighborhood and pick up the plastic bags that have collected in bushes and on lawns.
Karen February 24, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Aren't your meats and veggies in plastic bags? If you are that concerned with germs, wash your cloth bags with some bleach when required. I've been using reusable bags for many years and seriously the only problem I have have is that I sometimes forget to put them in my car or bring them in the market. That might happen twice a year and is a really small inconvenience considering how that bags can harm not only the environment but wildlife as well. Paul, do beach clean up sometime and it will open your eyes quite a bit as to why people are for these bans.
Shawn Thompson April 03, 2013 at 08:07 PM
have to say I love a good debate or discussion, freedom of speech and press and ideas are what has made this country great. And social media has leveled the field in the exchange of ideas and information. With that being said I got into a discussion about the WEHO city councils move to jump on the banning of plastic bags in our city under the feel good buzz words of its good for the environment. But to me when I look past the spin what I see now is that the supers markets get to charge 10 cents a bag now, where before they were free. Which makes them more money bottom line. Secondly paper bags were free before so why not have just banned plastic bags? Thirdly the real plastic monster is inside the super markets that are full of plastic everything because the large corporations have mastered the art of the cheap packing costs of plastic. Not to mention the re-usable bags are made of a heavier plastic which I think would stay larger in bigger pieces in the environment.....In the end a while ago I saw this video and was reminded of it today. it shows where the plastic monster lives in the environment, that being the packaging of soda liter tops etc. Take a few mins to watch it, its a very powerful story and the next time your at a super market look at all the plastic on the shelves and the ruse of making us all pay for a bag now which in the end makes the supper markets more money. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MN8JYhByVYg&feature=player_embedded
Stephen Joseph April 03, 2013 at 09:56 PM
See the six-minute movie: "Are you being told the truth about plastic bags?" www.plasticbagmovie.com
scott ferguson April 03, 2013 at 11:51 PM
If you are outraged over stores charging a dime for a bag, then bring your own bag like I and a lot of other people did long before this law. Is that so difficult?

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