Nature Walks with Mark takes on plastic bags

Nov 17, 2010 by

On November 16, 2010, LA County banned the use of plastic bags in unincorporated areas of the county. This is one of the most aggressive legislative efforts to eliminate the massive pollution problem presented by plastic from any location in the US. Additionally, retailers are now required to charge 10 cents for paper bags. The retailer will keep the money to offset the cost of buying more expensive, but more sustainably produced and biodegradable, paper bags.

San Francisco banned plastic bags 3 years ago but allows bioplastic bags made from cornstarch. These, however, do not biodegrade in the ocean. San Francisco and Malibu (who has also banned plastic bags) have both declined to levy the additional charge for paper bags.
Washington, D.C. chose a different route in requiring a 5 cent surcharge for any disposable bag regardless of the material.Swans fighting over plastic bags

Of course there are critics. Costs are being passed along to consumers who don’t bring reusable bags to the market with them and that’s a tough sell in these hard times. And of course there may be additional court challenges to this LA County ban.

But why are cities, and now an entire county, banning plastic bags? Mark Fraser tackles this question in the video below:

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