Los Angeles Proposes Plastic Grocery Bag Ban

Associations’ reactions were mixed after the Los Angeles City Council voted to ban the use of plastic bags by grocery stores.

Los Angeles grocery store clerks are going to need a new line of questioning for shoppers if the city’s plastic bag ban gets final approval.

On June 19, the Los Angeles City Council voted to approve a preliminary measure that would ban the use of plastic bags by grocery stores and drug stores that sell groceries. The  City Council must vote on the proposed ordinance again next week for it to be officially adopted.

The ordinance—which would go into effect January 1, 2014—also encourages customers to use reusable bags by requiring them to pay 10 cents per paper bag, according to a Reuters report. The city estimates that 2 billion plastic bags a year would be eliminated by the measure. The Los Angeles Daily News reports that the city’s Bureau of Sanitation will distribute 1 million reusable bags to residents before the law takes effect.

According to news reports, Los Angeles would be the largest city in the United States to adopt such a plastic bag ban. Association reaction was mixed following the vote.

The California Grocers Association, a nonprofit representing approximately 500 retail members in California and Nevada, supports the measure and doesn’t think it will imposes a financial burden on retailers. “Really, the inconvenience will be the education to our consumers,” CGA president and CEO Ronald Fong told Reuters.

The CGA also endorsed a statewide approach in April that it said would offer “consistency and predictability” to shoppers and businesses. “We’re looking for competitive fairness for retailers,” Fong said in the April statement. “Retailers don’t want to be in a position where they need to abide by 70 to 85 different local ordinances.”

However, the American Progressive Bag Alliance, a group formed by plastic bag makers, strongly opposes the move.

“By voting to ban plastic bags and impose a 10-cent tax on paper bags, the Los Angeles City Council has sent a terrible message to manufacturers, small businesses and working families in the City of Los Angeles,” Mark Daniels, chairman of the APBA, said in a statement. “After recently being voted down in the State Senate, the California Grocers Association continues to peddle this bag ban and tax scam around the state because big grocers stand to make millions from collecting every penny of the tax on paper bags.”

Daniels also said the measure “threatens the jobs of the 1,000 hard-working employees of Los Angeles area plastic bag manufacturers” and “will do more harm to the environment by pushing residents towards higher carbon footprint products.”


Daniel Ford

By Daniel Ford

Daniel Ford is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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