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No More Plastic Bags for Weho; Council Approves Ban

The City Council finalizes its ban on single-use plastic bags. The ban takes effect in six months for larger stores, 12 months for smaller stores.

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.”

The city has more information about the plastic bag ban on its website.

joninla August 22, 2012 at 01:44 AM
The general environmental concept is obvious. The failure to go beyond the simple thought of 'just eliminating the problem altogether' is a typical bad judgement action by the City Council without taking in to consideration the impact it will have on the very low end of our economy (usually, but not limited to, old and disabled residents on a fixed income and often who do not / can not drive). To eliminate the ability to have light weight sterile or at least not contaminated by all the same potentials that has spurred the medical & other business companies involving the sale of food products to offer and encourage hand sanitizers to staff & customers/patients puts our senior and disabled population at greater risk of picking up something that could lead to serious health consequences. Likewise, to charge 10c for a bag may seem nominal to the majority of car driving shoppers, but is a much more significant additional cost to the people who walk (and/or take the bus)and are struggling just tob get by and don't have the same options/opportunities as car driving wealthier people who can keep 'reusable bags' in their cars and use them when needed. Short sighted voting that hurts the senior, disabled and low income residents of West Hollywood .... Which the City brags about being a city protecting and providing for the often overlooked poorer members of socirety.
GoodGriefCharlieBrown August 22, 2012 at 06:31 AM
Now if we can just sack some of the old plastic bags at City Hall.

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