Glendale considers plastic bag ban

Malibu was one of the first California cities to pass a ban on plastic bags at stores. A sign at a Ralphs store encourages Malibu shoppers to bring reusable bags. (Photography: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Glendale could soon follow in the footsteps of Los Angeles County and several cities throughout the state that have banned plastic bags at major retail stores.

The City Council on Tuesday will determine whether to pursue a law similar to the one that recently went into effect for unincorporated areas of L.A. County, the Glendale News-Press reported. That law, which will affect more than 2,000 stores by January 2012, bans plastic bags and requires retailers to levy a 10-cent surcharge per paper bag.

“The negative impact to the environment as a result of these bags motivates us to ban plastic bags,” said Public Works Director Steve Zurn, adding that officials envision a rule that prevents all retailers, from grocery to drugstores, from using plastic bags.

Glendale officials began pushing for a ban three years ago, but as legal challenges against other cities started to pop up, City Hall switched into wait-and-see mode.

Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, an advocacy group, sued Manhattan Beach after it banned plastic bags because the city did not first commission an environmental impact report on the potential effects of the new law. The plastics group won in Los Angeles County Superior Court, but the state Supreme Court reversed the ruling.

Green Glendale, an environmental group, said it’s in favor of a plastic bag ban, which also has support from the California Grocers Assn. and local retailers.

Retailers that support the ban say they would prefer sweeping rules to avoid a patchwork of laws, but a similar ban died in the state Senate last year.

California Grocers Assn. spokesman Dave Heylen said retailers that are subject to the plastic ban have reported smooth transitions, but that their customers have had a harder go.

“There’s definitely a learning curve,” Heylen said. “It’s hard to change consumers over night.”

Author: Brittany Levine
Source: Los Angeles Times



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