Los Angeles, CA – One year ago today, the Los Angeles City Council committed to banning plastic bags in a historic 13-1 vote. City staffers have spent the intervening year drafting a proposed ordinance and conducting an exhaustive study. Their findings are in, and they’ve proposed banning plastic bags citywide as the best way to protect LA’s environment and the Pacific Ocean. But the same Council that committed to a plastic bag ban 13-1 has yet to even schedule a vote.
“It’s time for our City Council members to finish what they’ve started” said Nathan Weaver with Environment California. “Banning plastic bags is the right policy to keep plastic garbage off our streets, off our beaches, and away from vulnerable ocean wildlife.”
Single-use plastic bags are one of the most common garbage items on California’s beaches according to the Los Angeles Times. They are a threat to ocean wildlife, like the sea turtles that mistake them for edible jellyfish. One in three leatherback sea turtles have plastic in their stomach, most often a plastic bag, based on a study of over 370 autopsy reports. Plastic bags make up as much as 25 percent, by weight, of garbage flowing out to sea on the Los Angeles River according to a 2008 LA County report.
“Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute the ocean for hundreds of years,” commented Weaver.
Environment California is a state-based, citizen-funded, environmental advocacy organization working toward a cleaner, greener, healthier future.