How ironic that today I could read "LB Council Set to Pass Plastic Bag Ban" through the plastic bag that held my newspaper. But I should not despair, because those plastic bags won't be banned if the Council has its way, even though the bags are as thin (if not thinner) than the ones proposed to be outlawed. (We reuse them in our house when the dog is walked.) Only those bags used for groceries will be banned unless you sell groceries in Target or Wal-Mart -- because their bags are thicker.
As you know I held a town meeting on this topic several months ago because of the emails I received that indicate residents (the majority) are not supportive of a mandatory ban of plastic bags and a mandatory fee of ten cents to buy a paper bag.
The opposition boils down to the following:
- Use of non plastic bags should be voluntary as it is now.
- Grocers already admit to increasing the cost of groceries for both plastic and paper bags.
- The current economy is not conducive for adding any type of fees.
- How in the world is the city going to enforce the ban and the imposition of the fee?
- The production of paper bags is the number ONE source of air pollution in the Pacific Northwest.
- The ordinance may be found to be illegal . We will know once the California Supreme Court finishes a case before it challenging the Manhattan Beach plastic bag ban.
- Shoppers will go to Lakewood or Signal Hill (which do not ban the plastic bags) and our Long Beach businesses will be impacted unfairly.
A statewide ban on plastic bags would be more appropriate and probably more legally defensible.