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Laguna Beach poised to ban plastic shopping bags

September 8, 2011 |  1:31 pm

Laguna Beach considers ban on plastic bags
Single-use plastic shopping bags were put on the endangered list in Laguna Beach this week, earning applause from environmentalists.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday, with overwhelming support from the audience, to direct staff to get to work on an ordinance banning the bags in Laguna, the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot reported. The ordinance will be modeled on one passed in Manhattan Beach, which the California Supreme Court ruled complied with the state Environmental Quality Act.

"I encourage the council to move forward on this," said Max Iles, sporting a Ban the Bag T-shirt. "A lot of people want to see it happen."

No one spoke in opposition to the proposed ban, which has the goal of encouraging shoppers to take their own reusable bags to the store.

"My concern is that people now using plastic bags will use paper bags, and that is not good for the environment," said Councilwoman Verna Rollinger.

City Environmental Specialist Michael Phillips said proposed implementation of the plastic bag ordinance will mirror the introduction of the ban on single-use Styrofoam containers in Laguna.

Affected businesses were given six months to exhaust their inventory of the banned materials. Hardship cases were reviewed before a progressive enforcement program was put into place. Violators were warned before fines were levied.

Other cities, including Santa Monica and Long Beach, have banned plastic bags. This week, Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz proposed taking the ban a step further and suggested that the city ban both plastic and paper bags.


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Photo: Laguna Beach is considering a ban on plastic shopping bags. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times