Tags: los | angeles | shopping | bags

Paper or Plastic? Neither Says L.A.

Thursday, 05 Apr 2012 03:46 PM

By Martin Gould

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America’s second largest city has moved one step closer to banning both paper and plastic shopping bags, meaning that everyone will have to take reusable shopping sacks when they go to the supermarket.

Los Angeles City Council’s energy and environment committee voted unanimously for the ban on Wednesday and it will now go before the full council.

The ban on plastic in 7,500 supermarkets would go into effect first. At that point stores would have to charge 10 cents per paper bag, the Los Angeles Times reported. Six months later paper would be barred as well.

Workers from Crown Poly, a local plastic bag making plant, which stands to lose up to 130 jobs if the ban goes into effect, urged the committee to drop the plan. “I will be losing my job, losing my insurance. Please take that into consideration," said Norma Fierro.

Councilman Paul Koretz likened Fierro’s job to a horse-drawn carriage maker at the turn of the century. "I'm the last one to allow for layoffs in L.A. city, and I fight them hard," he said. "But I've never stood and said that if a job doesn't make sense anymore, that we've got to keep that job."

Environmentalists say plastic bags are rarely recycled and vast numbers end up in the ocean. Paper bags contribute to deforestation, they say.

But Mark Daniels of Hilex Poly and the American Progressive Bag Alliance, told Newsmax, the ban would have no impact on litter, claiming most reusable bags are “not recyclable, are less sanitary, are made in China using foreign oil, and often contain heavy metals.

“Worse, bag bans inflict a regressive tax on the disadvantaged, impose a burden on small businesses, and are a threat to local manufacturing jobs,” he added.



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