In Los Angeles we use billions of plastic bags a year. Despite efforts to expand recycling programs, the California recycling rate for plastic bags is 5%. Most bags – even if reused once or twice – end up in the landfill or as litter.
California spends $25 million a year to landfill discarded plastic bags. This money could go to other public services. Plastic bags, designed only to be used for minutes, may never truly biodegrade. As litter, plastic bags enter our ocean, rivers and creeks, threatening marine life.
On May 23, 2012, the Los Angeles City Council voted to draft an ordinance that would ban single-use plastic bags and place a charge on paper bags at grocery stores and select other retailers. The City has been working to prepare the appropriate environmental reports under the California Environmental Quality Act and draft the language of the ordinance.
The ordinance still needs final approval from the City Council, so we need your support in the coming months.
UPDATE - March 2013: The City of Los Angeles continues to move forward with the development of its single-use bag ordinance. Read the Bureau of Sanitation's draft Environmental Impact Report (PDF), and stay tuned for more information about the City Council's final vote later this spring!
To help educate California state legislators about the ecological and economic importance of the sea to all Californians, Heal the Bay staff joined our fellow environmental advocates in the 6th annual Ocean Day at the state Capitol on April 16, 2013.…
“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference