Looks like LA is taking some positive steps forward in reducing the use and disposal of plastic bags. The Los Angeles City Council recently voted to ban plastic bags in the supermarkets and stores by July 2010, trying to coax the state to impose a 25¢ fee on every shopper who requests them before moving forward with the proposed enforced ban. With 2.3 billion plastic bags used each year in LA alone, and with only an estimated 5% of those plastic bags recycled statewide, this might be the sort of drastic change LA needs to get rein in a common litter source we often find stuck in our own yards...
Of course, the plastic bag manufacturing industry isn't taking this proposal sitting down, creating their own PR push back with "interesting" arguments such as:
If plastic bags are taxed or banned, paper bag usage will increase dramatically. The website refers to independent third party reports showing that paper bags are far more damaging to the environment than plastic bags.
-- Paper bags result in 3.3 times more greenhouse gas emissions than
-- Paper bags require far more energy to produce and transport than
-- Paper bags attract cockroaches, which is a major concern in apartment
-- Paper bags are less reusable than plastic bags.
We don't think plastic bags need to be completely eliminated, as they are indeed useful for specific tasks. And switching to completely to paper does indeed bring up its own problems/issues. But with 2.3 billion plastic bags being used alone in our city with so little recycling occurring, one has to assume the solution is to move over to reusable canvas bags.