Paper or plastic? That option soon will not be available in West Hollywood as the city finalized its ban on single-use plastic bags at Monday night’s City Council meeting.
The ban passed on the Council’s consent calendar, as it did on the first reading two weeks ago. The proposed ban has proven to be non-controversial as few have spoken against it since .
Starting in six months, supermarkets and larger stores will no longer be able to offer single-use plastic bags to customers; smaller stores have 12 months to comply.
Stores will be required to charge customers 10 cents for paper bags. People bringing their own bags will not be charged a fee.
There will be several exemptions to the law. Lightweight plastic bags for produce and meat will still be allowed as will plastic bags for take-out food at restaurants. Farmers markets and dry cleansers will also be allowed to continue using plastic bags.
The plastic bag ban is similar to one currently in effect in Los Angeles County. The cities of Malibu, Santa Monica, Calabasas and Long Beach also have plastic bag bans. The purpose of the ban is to encourage sustainability.
“I am pleased that the City of West Hollywood will be joining the environmental call to ban single-use plastic bags,” said Mayor Jeff Prang in a press statement. “With 600 of these bags thrown out every second, ending up on our streets, in storm drains, in our landfills, and in our oceans, these bags have become a rampant epidemic. Reusable bags or requesting biodegradable paper is a very small price to pay to help protect our earth.”
Mayor Pro Tem Abbe Land, who co-sponsored the ordinance, also hailed the move as good for the environment.
“Estimates show that Californians use 12 billion plastic bags per year, and that Los Angeles County residents each used approximately 433 single-use bags per year, until the Los Angeles County ban took effect last year,” Land said in a press statement. “Changing out these plastic bags for reusable bags, and even paper ones, is better for the environment, and particularly for our beaches, oceans and marine life.”