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Environment

Plastic Bag Ban: L.A. to Out-Green WeHo, Santa Monica by Banning Paper and Plastic

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Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 12:20 PM

click to enlarge Say your goodbyes. - RAKKA VIA FLICKR
  • Rakka via Flickr
  • Say your goodbyes.
The West Hollywood City Council, not one to pass up PR- and Earth-friendly legislation, jumped on the bandwagon last night (the fuel-efficient, battery-powered, totally hybrid bandwagon, mind you) and banned plastic bags in Boystown.

Santa Monica and unincorporated L.A. County already made the move earlier this year.

According to West Hollywood Patch, City Dictator Councilman John Heilman, feeling very worldly and high-minded off his recent trip to Spain, "noted that in Europe, shoppers are expected to bring their own bags, [and] are accustomed to the extra fee for store-provided bags." (Oh you fancy, huh.)

What's an L.A. City Councilman to do but up the ante:

CBS2 reports that Councilman Paul Koretz proposed an ordinance yesterday that would "prohibit all single-use plastic and paper bags in L.A. supermarkets and would require stores to sell or provide complimentary reusable or fiber bags only or risk a fine."

Jesus. We know how popular bans are at City Hall -- next to meaningless resolutions/boycotts -- but this seems a little much. Have our debt-ridden, absurdly high-paid elected officials nothing better to do than tack little taxations onto our every chore? Next thing you know, they'll be charging us to make a 911 call. (Oh, wait.)

"With paper bags, you're still generating litter," Koretz tells the Los Angeles Times. "We're taking the next step."

And what a step. The public has pretty much accepted that plastic bags are evil by now, and anyone who spouts the "pros" is automatically assumed to be flack for the American Chemistry Council. But paper bags, to the vast majority of shoppers, are still seen as the friendly recyclable alternative.

(Speaking of the ACC: California Watch recently ran a great piece on the lobbying group's infiltration of the high-school environmental curriculum. They reportedly slipped the "advantages" of their baby seal-killers into a teacher's workbook, including: "Plastic shopping bags are very convenient to use. They take less energy to manufacture than paper bags, cost less to transport, and can be reused." Ha! If only 99 percent of the population got the "reuse" memo.)

Anyway, Koretz' proposal heads to the Energy and Environment Committee from here, where -- like good little environmentalists -- ordinance drafters are more than likely to shed tears of joy over its green-ius, and send it on its adorable way to council floor.

Might as well get used to carrying around your hippie satchels now, Los Angeles. Them WeHovian libs don't stand a chance against our Captain Planet councilmembers!

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]

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