I was originally one of the many people that were skeptical about the newly adopted ordinances against plastic bags enacted by Los Angeles, but after some research I find that it might be a good step in helping the environment.
San Bernardino County has not made any moves against plastic bags, but people cringe when they hear about how ordinances against plastic bags are beginning to spread.
The ban will come as an initial inconvenience for some, but with the increasing evidence of the damage that plastic can do to our oceans, I think that in time people will become aware.
Student Kelly Pearson said, “I think it’s ridiculous. I’m for saving the environment, but I don’t feel that a ban is necessary.”
The responsibility that is being pushed onto the retailers is an important and necessary move, because the influence cannot come from the consumer alone and the law will push shoppers and retailers into doing their part in environmental initiatives.
The tax can be collected and used to educate its customers in the importance of moving towards reusable bags.
The penalties that the ordinance lists are fair in that it will ask businesses that do not comply with the law to pay a fine of $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second violation, and $500 for the third.
It will push business owners into educating their staff on the importance of using reusable and recyclable bags.
I find that the penalty acts as encouragement for businesses to avoid having to pay frequent penalties.
Shoppers will have to plan ahead so they can remember their reusable bags, but I think that it is a nominal fee to pay given the intended results for a cleaner environment.
San Francisco and San Jose are among several cities in California that have already banned plastic bags, but studies on the impacts are inconclusive.
Katie Valentine, a writer for Thinkprogress.org, said, “Once a plastic bag ban in Los Angeles takes effect in 2014, the bans in California will cover a third of the state’s population, meaning there should be ample information to study whether a ban on plastic bags is effective in reducing waste on beaches in California.”
We use plastic bags because they are cheap and convenient options for us; however, the harm that it causes is much greater than people realize.
According to The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles City Council passed the ban in June citing worries about the financial and environmental impacts of the bags.
Supporters of the law say the bags litter the streets and clog up storm drains in the city, and they end up spending millions cleaning up the pesky sacks.
Los Angeles is setting a positive example in their move to ban plastic in the county, and the money that it saves in cleanup costs will encourage surrounding counties to take steps in enforcing the same policies.
I think people will realize that the ordinance does not seek to restrict anybody, but rather aims to make the public conscious of their place in the environment.