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February 12, 2008

Plastic-bag Ban Unravels

Los Angeles Times 01.23.08La_times

Los Angeles County supervisors backed off a threat Tuesday to ban plastic shopping and grocery bags. Instead, officials chose the weakest of five alternatives recommended by county executives: a volunteer program that leaves it to supermarket and store owners to coax customers into packing their purchases in reusable containers.

The action was a scale-back from a year ago, when supervisors ordered county lawyers to look into drafting a ban on non-recyclable bags altogether, much as San Francisco did. The 90-day study stretched into nine months, as grocers and retailers weighed in - the California Grocers Association, which represents 500 retailers in California and Nevada, had even hired a lobbying firm.

Indeed, with county executives prepared to seek only the voluntary measure, a last-minute amendment was offered and the final product approved by supervisors: A ban would be adopted only if the use of bags in unincorporated Los Angeles County did not decrease at least 30% by July 2010 and at least 65% by July 2013.

Link: Plastic-bag Ban Unravels


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