Culver City’s plastic bag ban turned one year old on June 27th. The ban eliminates 160 million plastic bags per year from our city, according to the Environmental Impact Report prepared by Los Angeles County. This is a big deal not only for the environment, but also for our economy. Data collected by the Surfrider Foundation shows the cost of cleaning up plastic waste far outweighs the cost of production, as illustrated in their graphic below:
In a recent article for the Surfrider Foundation, Angela Howe states:
Worldwide, nearly two million single-use plastic bags are used each minute. Plastic bags are usually reported as the second-most common type of ocean litter, after cigarette butts. For every square mile of ocean, there are about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it and it takes approximately 1,000 years to degrade.
For a primer on some of the pollution problems caused by plastic bags, watch Heal the Bay’s hilarious mockumentary “The Majestic Plastic Bag” narrated by Jeremy Irons:
The Culver City bag ban passed the City Council unanimously on May 20, 2013. The ordinance gave large stores six months to comply with the ban, and smaller stores (aka “mom and pops”) an entire year so they would have a chance to use up old stock and prepare for the ban. So now, as of June 27th, all supermarkets, pharmacies, convenience stores, food marts, liquor stores, and large retail stores that sell food and/or have a pharmacy (like Target), must comply with the ban. Details are available on the Culver City website.
I began working to ban single-use plastic bags in Culver City before I was elected to the City Council, helping to organize a “Community Think Tank” with Transition Culver City to discuss plastic pollution on 10/10/10. The result of this community conversation was overwhelming support for a ban on plastic bags in Culver City. Once elected, as member of the Council’s sustainability sub-committee, I helped craft the ban – so I’m especially proud of this one-year anniversary.
Want to learn more? Read more about Transition Culver City’s 10/10/10 event here and watch the video here. For news on the latest California Bag Ban legislation co-authored by Senator Alex Padilla and Senate President Kevin de León click here.