In a 13-1 city council vote, Los Angeles today became the largest municipality in the U.S. to ban single-use plastic bags.
Heal the Bay board members Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Sharon Lawrence, Amy Smart and David Nahai addressed dozens of ocean supporters for the pre-vote rally and energized the city council meeting’s public comment period.
“What is hideously ugly, gigantically dangerous, and outrageously expensive and yet we still use it every single day in Los Angeles? No, it is not the 405. It is plastic bags,” said Louis-Dreyfus in public comment.
For the past five years, Heal the Bay has led the legislative fight to enact a bag ban as part of its ongoing efforts to tackle plastic pollution in California neighborhoods and seas.
In moving forward with the bag ban, Los Angeles can embolden other cities, counties and states—including California—to also take action. The next fight is a statewide ban, which will be debated this summer in Sacramento.
“Today, the Los Angeles City Council took a prudent step to protect our environment and bolster our economy,” stated Kirsten James, Heal the Bay’s director of water quality. “The vote further emphasizes the fact that the days are numbered for single-use bags in California.”
Under the approved policy, the city will take a phased, three-step approach for curbing the environmental and fiscal waste associated with the distribution, collection and disposal of single-use bags.