Los Angeles News

Plastic bags banned from West Hollywood stores

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

West Hollywood has joined a handful of other cities in Southern California that have put a ban on plastic bags.

The City Council passed the ban Monday night, and the law will affect 490 of the nearly 900 stores in the city, with the exception of farmers markets, restaurants and dry cleaners.

"The Grocers Association supported our ordinance, the chamber of commerce supported our ordinance, didn't have any opposition from the local merchants," said West Hollywood Mayor John Duran.

The ban requires customers to either bring a reusable shopping bag with them to stores or pay 10 cents for a paper bag. Retailers will use the money made from the fee to help cover the cost of stocking paper bags. The paper bags must contain 40 percent recycled content.

Large retail stores in West Hollywood will have six months to phase out the use of plastic bags, while smaller retailers will have a year.

This latest ordinance is based on Los Angeles County's existing ban for unincorporated areas of the county, and follows in the steps of other cities like Santa Monica, Pasadena and Long Beach.

Most residents of West Hollywood are happy their city is following in the environmentally conscious footsteps of other cities.

"I think plastic's never been a good idea," said Gary Coughenour. "I think going green is where we all are today, and I think once people develop a new habit I think it will just be a natural thing."

But not everyone is in favor of the ban. Some say pushing out plastic will just make consumers pay.

"When they use plastic bags for their trash or to pick up their dog waste, you know the bags that we already pay for at the store through the price of groceries, we're now going to be paying to buy boxes of bags," said Ben Coleman.

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