With plastic bag bans in nearby Manhattan Beach, Long Beach and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, the city of Los Angeles is now considering prohibiting both plastic and paper single-use shopping bags in local grocery stores and major retailers.
This week, LA City Council member Paul Koretz submitted a motion to the council, asking the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would ban single-use shopping bags in the second largest city in the U.S.
While many cities in California are outlawing plastic bags and placing a fee on paper bags to encourage shoppers to use reusable shopping bags, Koretz proposed restricting both paper and plastic bags.
“Banning single-use plastic and promoting the use of single-use paper is a less favorable option than requiring that only reusable bags be used in supermarkets and specified retailers,” Koretz wrote in his proposal to the city council.
Despite the city’s efforts to distribute reusable shopping bags and set up recycling programs for single-use bags, an estimated 2.3 billion single-use plastic bags and 400 million single-use paper bags are used in the city annually – and only about 5 percent of plastic bags and 21 percent of paper bags are recycled, according to Koretz’s proposal.
Another reason to adopt a citywide ban on single-use shopping bags, Kortez noted in his motion, was a lack of comprehensive legislation at the state level addressing the issue, as previous bills to ban bags statewide have all been voted down.
Koretz’s proposal now goes to the Committee on Energy and the Environment for further review and discussion before the council decides to proceed with drafting the ordinance, the council member’s staff said.