So far, so good. Yesterday was the first critical date for the coast this month and Long Beach and L.A. got the ball rolling. Last night, the Long Beach City Council voted 6-2 to approve a single-use plastic bag ban ordinance identical to the L.A. County’s recently enacted measure. Like the county, grocers and other retailers can sell green paper bags for a dime with 100% of the proceeds going to the store. The only difference in the ordinance is that the start date is Aug. 1 next year instead of July 1.
The momentum on local bag bans is definitely growing. Long Beach is a city of nearly half a million people and it joins the over 1 million people in the county’s unincorporated area with bag ban ordinances in place locally. Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal led the way on advocating for the bag ban measure. Support from the environmental community, some grocery store chains and the grocers’ union made a big difference in the final vote.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the city council’s Energy and Environment committee finally heard the Low Impact Development ordinance that the Board of Public Works unanimously approved in January. Although the panel did not vote on the proposal, it appears that chair Jan Perry and members Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz support the measure. Perry postponed the vote to the Dec. 14 meeting, but she made it clear that she wanted the full council vote before members go on winter recess on Dec. 17.