L.A. City Council Votes for Plastic Bag Ban

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According to the L.A. Times, the Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to ban plastic carryout bags in the city’s supermarkets and stores by July 2010, but only if the state fails to impose a 25-cent fee on shoppers who request them. Council members said they hope an impending ban—proposed by Councilman Ed Reyes, who called plastic bags “the graffiti of the L.A. River”—would spur consumers to begin carrying canvas or other reusable bags, reducing the amount of plastic that washes into the city’s storm drains and the ocean. Although the plastic bag ban has been hailed by environmental groups like Heal the Bay and the Surfrider Foundation, as well as you and me—Lord knows I’ve turned into an anti-plastic bag communist—others point out the flip side. “When we start banning things and closing factories, where are the blue-collar workers going to go?” asked Anatolio Riegos, a Highland Park resident who works for Pactiv, a packaging company in the City of Industry that has roughly 1,300 workers. Damn, I never thought about it that way. Now what?