Sea Change: Two More Cities Ban Plastic Bags

Burbank and Huntington Beach city councils voted this week to move forward with plastic bag bans, part of a growing movement of local governments taking responsibility for ending the environmental and economic waste caused by plastic pollution. The moves comein the wake of Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, Calabasas and  Los Angeles County passing similar ordinances over the past two years.

The Burbank City Council agreed to advance a plastic bag ban that will likely start with large grocery stores, while Huntington Beach’s council voted for city staff to develop a new law that would ban stores from using plastic bags and instead replace them with reusable bags. 

Members of the Huntington Beach city staff were also directed to coordinate with other organizations to create an educational program to bring about a change of attitude about plastic bags.

Kreigh Hampel, recycling coordinator for the city of Burbank, told the Burbank Leader: “When you talk about plastic bags, about 500 to 600 bags are used per person, per year, according to Los Angeles County,” Hampel said. “If there are 110,000 people in Burbank, and they use 550 bags, that’s 60.5 million bags.”

In July, California’s Supreme Court upheld a city’s right to restrict the usage of plastic bags.