Our friends up in SF became the first US city to ban plastic bags from its stores, and now Los Angeles will be following suit.
The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday banned foam food containers from city buildings [and city-sponsored events], beginning July 1, 2009, and ordered plastic bags to be pulled from store checkout counters by July 1, 2010.
After July 1, 2010, consumers will have to use their own canvas bags or pay 25 cents for a paper or biodegradable bag. Of that fee, 3 percent would go to the retailer, 3 percent will go to the state, and the rest of the money will go back to the city to fund an education campaign.
Consumers in the city of Los Angeles use 2.3 billion plastic bags a year. [full story]
Elsewhere in the nation, Seattle is considering a ban of foam containers at restaurants and grocery stores (not just city buildings and events), and impose a 20-cent fee for each disposable paper and plastic bag used in the checkout line at all grocery, convenience and drugstores. The proposed Seattle ban would even extend to plastics such as little sauce containers and food utensils like forks, knives, and spoons.
But the folks in Baltimore, for now anyway, have decided they want their paper and plastic bags; their attempt to enact a ban failed last night.
Despite these baby steps forward of city-initiated bans, as a nation, the U.S. is lagging way far behind on this, with nations like Australia, Taiwan , Bangladesh, Ireland, Italy, South Africa and even China already banning plastic bags.
Anyway, you can practice not getting a bag now by bringing your own re-usable bag or just by saying “no”… take a cue from The Abe Lincoln Story, a A 10-piece LA band who turned the phrase “I don’t need a bag” into a song.