L.A. Bans Plastic Supermarket Shopping Bags

The movement against plastic shopping bags gained a lot of momentum today after the Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 to phase out the use of plastic shopping bags at supermarkets.

This decision makes L.A. the largest city to issue a ban on the bags. According to the L.A. Times, it will impact around 7,500 stores.

Following a four-month environmental review, larger stores will then have six months to get rid of their stock of the bags, while smaller stores will be given a year.

While the City Council did not pass a proposed ban on paper shopping bags, this new law will eventually require retailers to charge $.10/bag for paper bags given to customers. Those in favor of the paper bag ban hope that the fee will curb the use of paper bags enough so that a ban is not needed down the road.

In 2010, some state legislators had hoped to push through a statewide ban on plastic bags, which some say are an environmental nuisance that litter shorelines and streets. San Francisco and a handful of other municipalities have enacted their own bans on plastic bags in the absence of a state initiative.

“Let’s get the message to Sacramento that it’s time to go statewide,” said Councilman Ed Reyes about L.A.’s measure.

Hawaii recently became the first state to go plastic-bag free. However, it was not through a statewide law but by each of Hawaii’s counties enacting their own bans.

Ban on plastic bags at L.A. markets is approved [L.A. Times]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Derek Balling says:

    Gimme a break.

    Have they not read any of the studies that show what absolute petri dishes re-usable grocery bags become, even when people try to keep them clean?

    • Marlin says:

      citation needed

      • alexwade says:

        Here you go, from a quick google search:

        “Most shoppers — 97%, in fact — reported that they do not regularly, if ever, wash the bags.”

        Interestingly, I saw two article summaries in the google search from Glenn Beck’s The Blaze (I ain’t clicking there) and the Huntington Post (I ain’t clicking there either) about reusable shopping bags linked to the stomach flu. If a right-wing loon and a left-wing loon say the same thing, it has to be true.

    • sirwired says:

      Given that absolutely everything you buy in the grocery store is ensconced in another layer of packaging (either plastic, cardboard, paper, or an inedible peel), or is generally washed before eating, who cares?

      I doubt the conveyor you set the items down on, the cart you toted them around in, or the shelf they sat on, are exactly operating-room sterile either, but you don’t freak out about that.

      • Stella says:


      • frodolives35 says:

        Next counties enact body condoms for all citizens to avoid the spread of germs. /s lol

      • Costner says:

        This was my thought. I don’t recall the last time I went to the supermarket and bought a piece of raw steak that I placed unwrapped in my cart and then later into a shopping bag!

        Almost everything has its own packaging – and the few items that don’t such as raw fruits and vegetables can be easily washed. I freely admit I still don’t use the reusable bags (primarily because I use plastic bags as trash bags) but when they do decide to kill the plastic shopping bags in my area I’m more than happy to switch over to reusables.

    • CubeRat says:

      BS. I have several reusable bags, only one can’t be tossed in the washer like a towel. That one I wash like I do my cutting board.

      If you were correct, no one could reuse a cutting board, dishes/silverward, or clothing with any degree of safety.

      • Firethorn says:

        Now, they’re banning plastic bags on a littering justification, but on a pollution front somebody so obsessed with sanitary that they wash their bags semi-frequently will be causing more pollution – the plastic associated with the extra detergent, the shipping, the extra water*, any heating of said water, etc…

        *I have a front-loader; even if I mix the bags into another load I’ll use a bit more water.

        • tooluser says:

          Being on the political left means you don’t have to think.

          • Round-Eye 外人はコンスマリッストが好きです。 says:

            So does being on the political right. In fact, I find that often the far right and far left are soooo far right/left, they meet and are sometimes indistinguishable.

            • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

              You mean their identical ability to not think, and not compromise?

          • incident_man says:

            Did you “think” about that statement, or did you just simply regurgitate what comes forth from the likes of Fixed News, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck?

        • Charmander says:

          Except very few people are that obsessed, so it’s not really an issue.

          • OutPastPluto says:

            I’ve always used paper anyways.

            You can always make your field of trees. Can’t do that with an oil field.

          • Firethorn says:

            Not normally, but plastic bags are so cheap that you need to get a LOT of use out of a reusable bag for it to be ‘worth it’. I see issues with quality control on the cheaper bags – Some didn’t even last six months, call it 20 uses. More expensive bags work longer, but need more uses to make payback, and even for me cleanliness will eventually become an issue if I’m using the bag for multiple years.

            Now if only I could get decent quality bags without the store advertising or ‘hey I’m being GREEN!!!’ coloring. Just give me plain off-white canvas bags.

      • OutPastPluto says:

        I keep a separate cutting board for raw meat to avoid cross contamination and I often rinse it with near boiling water to sanitize it. I can also put it in the dishwasher and put it on sanitize.

        Will cheap eco-bags hold up to that?

        It’s a lot harder for corporate America to corner-cut a hunk of plastic to the point where it’s unmaintainable.

        • justhypatia says:

          I hate to disappoint you but “near” boiling water won’t “sanitize” anything. Sanitizing by heat alone requires much higher temperatures. Autoclave systems raise steam temps above boiling to about 250 degrees fahrenheit for 15 minutes to sterilize.

          That’s why we use soap to lift and rinse bacteria away on an everyday basis. If you’re lucky your dishwasher might hit 160 degrees. And many clothes washing machines now come with a “sanitize” cycle as well. So, no, your dishwasher doesn’t really clean any better.

    • duncanblackthorne says:

      I remember reading about that.
      At least paper is reasonably easy to recycle, and you can always re-use paper bags, too.
      The only way re-usable grocery bags will be 100% sanitary, is if they make them machine-washable, which is not at all difficult. Just make them out of canvas or something else sturdy and ubiquitos.

    • CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

      I really cant see how they get dirty through normal use.
      BTW, do you wash your shoes weekly???

      People have shown they are too stupid to use plastic bags properly so now they have to be banned.

    • spamtasticus says:

      Dont worry, I am incorporating a plastig bag vending kiosk wich I will place just outside the entrance to the California stores. Dont get me wrong, I think that using a reusable bag is the best thing you can do and have been using them for about a decade. The issue is that they think they can solve everything with new laws. They cant keep people from using extreemely dangerous narcotics with laws and they think this is a good idea?

    • RiverStyX says:

      This is the oldest argument..You know who paid for those “Studies”? The plastic shopping bag industry, duh!

      • OutPastPluto says:

        No. It’s a reflection of how the American “do-gooder” attitude quite often goes horribly wrong.

        Other countries have done the whole re-usable grocery bag concept and managed to get it right. The fact that the US can’t just means that the US is screwing up. It doesn’t mean that the entire concept is flawed.

    • KenyaDigIt says:

      I think the bigger issue is that paper bags are still available and are generally considered to be a far worse pollutant than plastic bags. They have more detrimental effects on the environment, and their significantly higher weight makes them much more costly to clean up. It boggles my mind why the City would think it’s a good idea to ban plastic bags and leave paper bags alone.

      Bans in general are a bad idea. The problem is that people still need bags and containers, and if you ban one form of pollutant, people will just move on to another. The only real ban that would work would be a total band on all pollutants. You’d have to get rid of plastic bags, paper bags, Styrofoam, glass bottles, aluminum cans, etc. This whole plastic/paper dichotomy the City has created is based purely on this idea. You can ban plastic bags, but we can’t ban both plastic and paper, because people still need something to carry their groceries in.

      A far better solution would be to encourage recycling. People will be acquiring polluting materials no matter what the City does. The best way to keep them off the street is to encourage people to bring them back to the store.

  2. ARP says:

    The reusable shopping bags ARE plastic, but I understand what they’re talking about. I like the idea of charging for bags, rather than an outright ban. If people want to pay extra to be “lazy,” then that’s their right.

    • Derek Balling says:

      Well, some aren’t plastic. The ones I can theoretically get at my local grocer are fabric for example.

      But still, if I’ve made the conscious decision of “I don’t want to reuse bags for sanitary/health reasons”, then the nanny-state has no business butting their nose in.

      • CubeRat says:

        No, if people who do not want to reuse bags will just have to pay for them.

      • huadpe says:

        Most of the fabric ones are made of polyester, which is a plastic product.

        • perruptor says:

          All the ones I have are plastic, and made from recycled soft-drink bottles. No new plastic is produced to make those bags.

    • Jawaka says:

      I’m not a fan of charging for plastic bags unless the income made from selling them went to the local community. Otherwise it’s just another money grab by the grocery stores.

      • chicagojay says:

        Or perhaps to pay for the plastic bags. It is just as much a money grab as charging for the products. The only outrageous thing would be if the government FORCED stores to charge for them. Now THAT would be a money grab.

    • frodolives35 says:

      We have about a dozen washable walmart black bags we can never remember to take into the store. On a better note the plastic bags fit perfect in all our smaller trash cans bedroom bathrooms etc plus they are great for yard sales.

    • Trireme32 says:

      Lazy? ‘scuse me?

  3. bhr says:

    This annoys me. Some local jurisdictions have started charging a nickel or dime for bags, and I’m ok w/ that. But having to have bags in the car if I want to run into the store and buy a half dozen items is a pain in the butt.

    • Charmander says:

      Why would it be a pain in the butt to keep something in your car that you will need to use?

      I have an umbrella in my car in case it rains. It’s really no different.

      • TacoDave says:

        It is *quite* different. You can keep that umbrella in your car and never touch it unless you need it. If I use the bag in the car for groceries, however, I have to clean it an replace it. Every time.

        When I leave the house I usually have kids, a diaper bag, kids’ shoes, possibly a DVD (to keep the kids busy in the car), etc. I have enough to lug around without remembering to re-stock the bags in the car.

    • Galium says:

      I like how they charge for paper bags (renewable resource and recylable) and about 100 billion water bottles get tossed all over because they do not have a redemption fee. Another HIA decision by politicians.

    • justhypatia says:

      Is it really that tough to have a couple of bags in your trunk? I always keep a small mesh or canvas bag in my purse just in case.

    • orion70 says:

      If you are carrying a large purse or some other kind of bag on a regular basis, look into Lug or Baggu bag types that fold up and tuck away easily. I keep one or two in my purse at all times so even if I forget to bring bags I always have one handy.

  4. krantcents says:

    Living in Los Angeles, this will be an inconvenience, but a worthwhile one. I already bring reusable bags to do my grocery shopping. We are running out of space in the various garbage dumps and it is not good for the ecology. It is about time!

  5. bhr says:

    Charge $.10/bag and offer a $.02-.05/bag reimbursement for turning bags into a recycling/collection center. (the dime pays for the expense).

    Only problem I see would be someone going through people’s recycling to pull out the bags.

    • xyzzyman says:

      A lot of supermarkets already give you a discount for bringing your own bags. I just got 5 cents off for each bag I used of my own today at Target. Not much, but I was using my reusable bags anyways as they are better for carrying groceries on the bus.

  6. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    While the City Council did not pass a proposed ban on paper shopping bags, this new law will eventually require retailers to charge $.10/bag for paper bags given to customers. Those in favor of the paper bag ban hope that the fee will curb the use of paper bags enough so that a ban is not needed down the road.

    You know, I wonder if any of these people ever think of the fact that not everyone shopping at a grocery store travels around with bags. People decide to stop by the store during the bus ride home from work, or maybe they’re from out of town staying in a condo or hotel.

    No, in the world of these geniuses everyone carries their cloth bags with them wherever they go, or they never go to the grocery store unless the trip has been planned and prepared for.

    • sirwired says:

      You can buy rather small and light re-usable bags that can be easily toted around unfilled in a purse, backpack, or briefcase. That should cover any spur-of-the-moment trips while riding home.

      People from out of town without their own bags can pay the rather reasonable price of ten cents a bag. This isn’t exactly a huge financial burden here.

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        The article and the quote I posted said people also want to ban the 10 cent paper bags, so no that won’t be an option if they get their way. That means cloth bags that people have to buy every time or carry around. Are you going to carry cloth bags around??? I’m not.

        • Kate says:

          Then you will suffer the consequences the same as people did before paper bags were invented.

        • Costner says:


          It isn’t that big of a deal. Most of the reusable bags never cost more than 99 cents, so if you must… you can always purchase one bag if you are in a pinch. People can (and do) adapt to such major inconveniences as whether or not to carry a bag with them when they head to the store.

      • Charmander says:

        Yes to this. I have a compact, foldable nylon bag that I keep in my purse. It folds up to be pretty tiny – very convenient.

    • xyzzyman says:

      As someone currently having to use the bus to get around, I bring reusable bags even to work as they are much better to carry groceries in, and they fold up pretty nicely. Most have large enough handles that I can put 2 over each shoulder. I do have a few of the 10cent Aldi and Save-A-Lot bags from last minute purchases but I get a number of reuses out of those before I have to recycle them.

  7. spartan says:

    So now all these people who carry an old shopping bag with them to clean up after the dog will have to buy bags to clean up the poop.

    or they might just save the money and leave the cr@p on the ground.

    • Kat says:

      After reading the headline, this was the first thought I had.

    • Charmander says:

      I already buy plastic, biodegradable bags for my dogs poop. I don’t “have” to buy them; I choose to.

      I also use plastic grocery bags to scoop poop, but when those aren’t available anymore (my own city bans them at the end of this summer), the world will not fall apart, and I don’t envision people leaving their dog’s poop on the ground because there are no “free” plastic bags at the grocery store.

    • Mamudoon says:

      Seriously. I use reusable bags because I’m a dork and like finding funky ones (not to mention they don’t f–king tear all the time!), but I occasionally use plastic bags because I use them to clean out my guinea pig cages.

      And I always use plastic bags for meats. I do wash my reusable bags, but it still grosses me out.

    • Costner says:

      People who want to leave their dog’s landmines on the ground will continue to do so regardless of the availability of plastic shopping bags. Those who use a lack of plastic shopping bags as an excuse are probably the same people who didn’t clean up after their dogs before.

      Prior to plastic shopping bags when paper was the only option, was the dog crap problem a much larger issue? I surely doubt it.

      When I had a dog, I figured out a much better way of handling this problem anyway. I was given a box of expired surgical gloves from a clinic, so I would just put one glove on – grab the poo in my hand (which is a rather disgusting feeling since it is warm, but you get used to it) adn then with my other hand I turned the glove inside out. Then tie the glove in a knot… problem solved.

      A box of disposable gloves costs a few bucks which puts the “cost per poop” pretty darm low. Plus they are more convenient to store and cary – and because they stretch they are less likely to have holes in them.

    • orion70 says:

      My local dollar store sells packages of dog bags for a dollar. While I know that’s not free, It’s not exactly a bank breaking expense.

  8. CubeRat says:

    Good, I was in favor of this. LA County passed something that says county stores (not in one of the cities) must charge for bags. It’s only mildly inconvenient. The Trader Joe’s one block from my home has to charge, but they charge for any bags (and don’t use plastic).

    In China and Hong Kong, merchants charge for bags. I don’t object, the reusable ones are much stronger anyway. For anyone that owns a car, just stick them in the car. If you are like me, you either pay the fee or plan your shopping trips.

    • Groanan says:

      There are all kinds of hidden costs with the charge-per-bag system.
      One of which is that you have to ask if or if not someone wants a bag, and this needs to be decided before payment is tallied and rendered; but how many bags are needed to be bought? This might required another delay, to wait until the people can decide how many bags would be enough.

      These tasks, these “inconveniences,” are wastes of human capital.

      Why are we trying to make the supermarket less convenient? Why not have the stores pay a tax based on how many paper bags they go through, and let it be up to the stores whether or not they charge their customers per bag, or just inflate their prices across the board?

      We do not need an extra bag transaction segment to the grocery store checkout system; it is a misguided attempt to curb human behavior, making the process suck so people decide it is worth it to buy (and throw away when they get icky) reusable bags. It is also a system designed to add hidden costs to transactions, like tax, CRV, and now your bag fee (it would be more efficient if all of this was built into the price tag of the items on the shelves for sale).

      How are paper bags not a sustainable method of transporting groceries?

      • RedOryx says:

        Aldi has always charged for bags. They encourage you to bring your own but make paper and plastic ones available right at the conveyer belt. You just grab some and put them with your groceries and they add it to the total.

        You also have to bag your groceries yourself.

        I bring my own, but every once in awhile someone ahead of me needs one of the plastic/paper and it’s never caused any sort of delay to the line.

        • Groanan says:

          If you are bagging your own then the line is going slow enough not to make a difference I suppose; the way they implemented it in San Jose, say at a Safeway, the “would you like a bag” portion of the checkout occurs at the end, before the payment is finalized – no bagging starts until this happens.

          The difference is that prior to the new law, bagging started while you were checking out, no questions asked, items were just shuffled into bags, and once the transaction was complete you just left, your stuff all ready to go (you just say “thank you” to the person who bagged the items, no tips as they do not work for tips).

          They could ask you up front “would you like to buy any bags?” and you guestimate “yes three” and they could start bagging then, but they still had to ask, you still had to think about it, and you still had to give a response.

          I shop as a single young male though, so my perspective is biased; old ladies, families, lonely people desperate for the cashiers attention, people on subsidies, people who still use checks, etc., are already used to such a long drawn out process to purchase goods I can see how this extra add-on really does no make or break their experience.

          • kella says:

            I’m a single young man in San Jose too, when I go to Safeway I always give them my reusable bags right away. Now that you mention it though, you’re right, they don’t start bagging till the end. They could if they were paying attention.

            Of course, I usually go through the self-checkout, which they still haven’t adjusted to ignore the reusable bags. The self-checkout will sit there claiming there are “unrecognized items” until a clerk overrides it. I sit there counting down, one of these days I’ll leave after 30 seconds (without my groceries). They really need to fix it.

            Safeway already wastes your time in the normal line. The clerk waits for your receipt to print, grabs it, and reads out your “savings” from the end. I yelled at the clerk to stop wasting my time last time.

            I classify all this under “Safeway sucks”. That they can’t build an efficient system is hardly the city’s fault.

          • HogwartsProfessor says:

            You don’t bag in the line at ALDI; you step over to a long counter and do it there. Save-A-Lot has the same thing, only they provide plastic bags.

  9. Fight Back Against David Horowitz! says:

    Ah, I remember the good ole days when the controversy was all about whether plastic bags were good enough to replace paper, and people were freaking out because they weren’t going to be able to get paper bags anymore. Yeah, I suppose I’m kind of old.

    Anyway, as someone who lives in Los Angeles, I can say, big deal. I’ll put some bags in the car, and if I happen to forget them, I’ll just buy one or two reusable bags at the store and cram everything into them. Yes, I am wealthy enough to afford an occasional $1 to $2 for that.

    • frodolives35 says:

      LOL remember all the save a tree commercials (pine renewable resources good hardwood decimation bad) and guess what eggs are good for you this year.

      • dangermike says:

        yeah, really. Paper bags are pretty biodegradable, and from what I understand, virtually all paper made these days comes from quick growing farms with tree crops specifically intended for paper production. That is to say, the impact of paper production on deforestation is almost nil.

        One of the big ironies with the current bag situation is that the plastic bags are generally produced locally. Eric Garcetti’s comments claiming that these manufacturers will be safe because hardware stores and the like that still use plastic bags ignores the simple economic fact that the vast majority of these manufacturers’ outputs are sold to grocery stores. When this proposal gets enacted, It is doubtless that the diminished demand will cost local jobs and it comes at time when LA’s unemployment is already over 11% even with a pitifully plunging participation rate. Also, am I the only dog owner here who saves grocery bags to clean up after my dog when I talk him out walking? In fact, I generally don’t throw grocery bags away unless they have poo in them. Now I suppose I’ll have to purchase bags for the same purpose.

        Oh well, this actually isn’t the most galling thing to come out of the LA government this week. Just listen to Villaraigosa’s speech about the new parking system. 3.5 million dollars to put in a system that lets you connect with your smartphone to find metered parking. Except it’s illegal to use a cell phone while driving in California. So you’ll have to find a spot to park to use your app to find a spot to park. And the new system will allow for an even faster response time by parking enforcement when the meters expires (which, already, they’ll be waiting for you before it expires) while at the same time controversy is exploding about LAFD’s falsification of response data to hide the fact that it doesn’t satisfy federal standards. Priorities, anyone?

        Maynard was right. “Mom, please flush it all away.”

  10. Foot_Note says:

    ah urban tumble weeds. would be so glad to get rid of them

  11. Jawaka says:

    I support this decision.

    you know what else I’d eventually like to see? Soda refill stations in stores where you can bring in your empty 2 liter bottles and refill them with your favorite beverages rather than have to deal with the recycling thing. They already have home soda makers with carbonation canisters so this should be more than doable in stores.

  12. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    What about cat box scoopings? Won’t someone please think of the kittehs?

    • Chasing Headless Chickens says:

      This was my first reaction as well. And probably Cat’s first reaction. I’m surprised Cat hasn’t weighed in on this. Though, I supposed he’s an outdoor cat and thus this is a non-issue for him.

    • Charmander says:

      What about them? There’s no other alternative to clean out your litter box than using free grocery bags – you know, the ones that always have holes in them because they are so flimsy to begin with?

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        The ones at my grocery must be sturdier, because even though I use reusable grocery bags most of the time, sometimes I get a few things in a plastic bag just so I don’t have to buy bags for litter box scoopings. But, our stores don’t charge for plastic bags, yet.

    • orion70 says:

      Where I live, a recent change in garbage collection requirements means I have an abundance of grocery bags left hanging around here. I used to fill the smaller bags and then put them all in one big bag, but you’re not allowed to do that any more (you are allowed one small opaque bag within). Since I occasionally have to use pee pads for my dog, I liked to lock those down under a layer of bag because of the smell-can’t do it any more. I’m assuming people with diaper pails can’t do it either. It all has to go in loose.

      So around here, people can’t bag up the kitty litter individually.

  13. kimmie says:

    Why is this news? Practically every city in California has banned them for 2012. Sunnyvale did, and it kind of sucks because I never even saw plastic bags contributing to litter. Everyone I knew reused them as trash can liners. I carry a ton of reusable Trader Joes bags but I keep using them to carry things into my 3rd story walkup and then end up the next week at the store with no bags, which suuuuucks.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Sunnyvale must be a special kind of place, because I see tons of plastic bags littered all over my metropolis.

  14. generic user says:

    They banned bags in San Jose where I live. It’s a PITA, but you get used to it… Sanitation levels of the bags never occured to me, but I guess I’m not a germ-o-phobe and I’ll just say I’m building up my immune system.. or some other equally lame excuse.

    We keep bags in the car, but on the occasions where we forget to bring a bag, we usually just have them reload the cart up with the lose items and carry everything in separately.

    • Groanan says:

      Berryessa representative here, it really is a PITA. My father drives to Milpitas to get groceries just so he doesn’t have to deal with it.

      I am okay with the plastic bag ban, just not the “you must charge your customers 10 cents a paper bag” rule; the transaction gets jumbled up and delayed by them having to ask you – if no one says anything you get no bags at all (they expect you to hand carry your purchased goods out of the store like a brazen shoplifter).

      There is nothing wrong with paper, it is a renewable resource and it grows… on trees.
      We have no problem with landfill space, but at least if paper bags do not make it to a landfill, they will decompose on their own.

      Whoever is pushing this law, whatever group thought this was a good idea, needs to be thrown to the curb. Is it the reusable bag consortium?

      • generic user says:

        What’s really fun is when a shopping mall straddles the line of the shopping bag divide border.. At Valley Fair, you can get plastic bags at half the mall that are technically in Campbell, but the other half, you better plan on bringing your own.

  15. chicagojay says:

    Lame. I reuse mine as garbage bags so this will now create more plastic in the landfill as I have buy trash bags. Also, I have to pay for them now so boo. The worst part is making retailers charge for the bags. At least the rich won’t be affected.

    • generic user says:

      In SJ at least, the proceeds of buying paper bags stay with the store. Lame.

    • Jawaka says:

      How will charging for bags put more into landfills? People who reused them before will still reuse them but it can be argued that less people will request them if they’re charged for them.

  16. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I don’t think they should be banned, but a surcharge is okay. In DC there is a 5 cent charge for plastic bags. I use reusable bags when I go to the store except for spontaneous trips like to get some milk and cereal when I am heading back home after work. Then I just pay the 5 cents.

    A ban would be a hassle :-

    • blueman says:

      A surcharge doesn’t really address the problem, since many people (including you) are more than willing to pay it. Doesn’t reduce bag usage.

  17. valleyval says:

    Living in LA is inconvenient and costly – what else is new.

  18. Joesph Mama says:

    While our local stores do not charge ‘extra’ for bags we get a 3 cent discount for each of our own bags we use.

    • Groanan says:

      That is how I’d like to see it done in San Jose, that or perhaps have scannable coupons on the bags, so if they see you have your bag, they scan it and you get a discount (it could also be a branding sales gimmick, Coke could make a Coke bag that gives you Coke discounts).

      • xyzzyman says:

        That’s not a bad idea. The system is already in place via coupon barcodes. Quiznos gives you either a free drink or free chips depending on the week if you bring in their reusable bag, but a Coke bag you could use at any store. The only problem is you aren’t turning the coupon in for them to send to the mfg but I’m sure that could be figured out easily.

  19. haoshufu says:

    They should ban styrofoam containers before banning plastic bags.

  20. John says:

    Time to shop only in the city of West Hollywood.

  21. LoadStar says:

    Absolutely no problem with the plastic shopping bag ban. The paper bag fee is ridiculous though… paper bags are degradable, reusable, and recyclable. Can someone try to justify the paper bag fee to me?

    • Such an Interesting Monster says:

      To get you to stop using paper bags. Yes they are biodegradable, reusable, and recyclable but they still come from trees, which are a finite resource. Cutting back on paper production is just as good a thing as cutting back on plastic bag production (for different reasons, but still good ones).

      If you can remember to bring reusable paper bags with you when you go shopping you can remember to bring canvas ones.

      • Groanan says:

        “trees, which are a finite resource”

        What exactly are you smoking? You do know that we have tree farms right? They grow trees, and cut down trees, and grow more trees, and cut down more trees…

        Ever buy a Christmas tree? Do you think we just have a limited amount of Xmas trees out in the wild, and that one Christmas we will just run out?


        • Such an Interesting Monster says:

          Are you really that delusional? It takes decades for a single tree to grow and less than a minute to cut it down. Are you completely unaware of the rate of deforestation across the planet? Time to leave the cave and open your eyes.

          And using Christmas trees as an example is simply ludicrous. The amount of trees that are cut down for Christmas once a year is a tiny tiny fraction of those that are cut down every single day in order to make paper products.

          There was a time when people believed that fossil fuels were an infinite resource. Yeah, cause that really panned out well, didn’t it?

          • yuber says:


            Why look things up, when you can make them up instead?

            • lawnmowerdeth says:

              Because a new law makes someone feel good.

            • Such an Interesting Monster says:
              • jayphat says:

                Ya know, if you’re going to link to a Wikipedia article, you really should read it first to see if it helps your argument. That didn’t. The environmental impact was from the chemicals used to clean paper.

                • Such an Interesting Monster says:

                  Considering you can’t make paper without paper production how is that not a valid concern? Nice strawman attempt tho.

                  Deforestation is only part of the issue. And tree farms don’t alleviate the environmental issue.

                  • jayphat says:

                    Really? Because from what I’ve read of paper production, tree farms reproduce trees faster than they clear them for paper by a 2-1 margin.

                    sorry, but language in that might not be safe for work. Seriously watch it. It might make you think twice about what you’re saying.

                  • Costner says:

                    Just stop already. Your argument is invalid and modern day forrestry is nothing more than timber farming. Trees are NOT a finite resource, so your original statement was flat out incorrect.

                    In fact if you research the issue, you will soon learn there are more trees in the US than at any point in history. More… not less. In fact, in the US our forrests have been growing since the 1940s. That means the amount of trees cut down is less than the number being planted. Modern loggers know they can’t just go in and clearcut an area, because in another 50 years they won’t have anything left to cut.

                    Admit your mistake and move on. We aren’t talking about what is happening in Brazil – we are talking about paper shopping bags in the US. The simple truth is, those paper bags are NOT bleached so the chemicals are far less than what is used for writing or printing (white) paper. The bags are recyclable, the trees are renewable, and they can actually be used for other purposes. They are even compostable.

                    I’m not against reusable bags, but I’d like to see them keep paper bags around because they are one of the best alternatives currently available.

          • LoadStar says:

            In the list of reasons for deforestation world-wide, pulping for paper *doesn’t even make the list*. (The biggest reason for deforestation is subsistence farming, specifically small-scale agriculture.) The paper industry by far and away uses new quick-growth forests, planted on lands they own specifically for harvesting into paper, and they aggressively reforest their own lands so they have new paper product to provide.

            In the US, over 50% of post-consumer paper waste is captured and recycled into new paper. It is common to find high percentage pre/post consumer waste recycled into paper shopping bags, particularly because they don’t have to be bleached like sheet paper is. (Bleaching is, by far and away, the biggest environmental issue with paper production – not deforestation.)

            As I said, plastic bags have a clear negative impact… but to also then include paper bags in this campaign seems like it is overreaching.

      • Libertas says:

        If it weren’t for the need of paper, most of the trees used to make it would not exist.

    • KenyaDigIt says:

      Actually paper bags are more harmful for the environment than plastic bags. Paper bags are highly absorbent, which is problematic for ph balance if they reach bodies of water or the ocean, and they often do. They also degrade more easily, leading to release of more harmful materials than plastic bags. Clean up costs are also much higher for paper bags. Clean up costs for specific pollutants are generally measured by weight, and paper bags weigh far more than plastic bags, which weigh almost nothing.

      Apart from the eye-sore and the fact that they travel very easily, plastic bags are mostly harmless. They don’t absorb water, they don’t degrade and release harmful chemicals (unless you burn them), and they weigh almost nothing.

      That’s why these laws make no sense to me. First of all, why ban one but not that other? Second, if you’re only going to ban one, why not ban the most harmful one? I think the politicians just know that they see plastic bags everywhere and decided to pass a law without learning any additional information. It would be far better to have a few thousand plastic bags in the ocean than a few thousand paper bags.

      I think the most ideal solution for any common pollutant is to promote recycling. You’ll never be able to ban everything. Even if you get rid of the plastic bags, you still have water bottles, cans, glass bottles, Styrofoam… it never ends. Instead of banning plastic or paper bags, make it mandatory for distributors of common pollutants to accept and recycle these products and pass the earnings on to the consumer. That’s the best way to keep the litter from running rampant.

  22. Press1forDialTone says:

    Bravo LA!
    Plastic water bottles and plastic shopping bags are a scourge on the Earth.
    We must move quickly and surely to type of containers that are completely
    recyclable or easily bio-degradable and enviro-neutral. But we must also
    encourage (bribe) people to use and recycle these items for the change to
    actually gain traction. People ONLY respond to a monetary inducement because
    they are most stupid and greedy in the First World.

    This means more uses for glass, pottery, cloth, aluminum, paper, etc and renewal
    /recycle plans to go with them.

    Never say: Plastic is okay. Get off your butts and put your words into action.
    Use water bottles for beverages. Keep shopping bags in your cars both cloth
    and paper (cloth is much better)

    Plastic has its place in the whole world but NOT for many many things we are using
    it for.

    • Groanan says:

      The plastic bag ban is not a monetary inducement, it is an outright ban the prevents the usage of plastic bags, period; the personal character and intelligence of consumers plays no role in this change at all.

      How are cloth bags better than paper bags?

      • Jules Noctambule says:

        I can carry a huge load of groceries in a cloth bag, and it will be flexible and not tear like a paper (or even a cheap plastic) bag.

      • Charmander says:

        Really? You need someone to tell you how cloth bags are better than plastic bags?

        • Groanan says:

          Yes, I do.

          Both are grown fibrous materials.
          Paper bags are clearly machine made, not sure if cloth bags are stitched by orphan kids.
          Cloth bags get washed, and washing uses clean drinkable water.
          Cloth bags are brought with you, and carried around as an extra weight and worry.
          Paper bags can be stacked tightly and kept at a cash register, dispensing only as many needed as needed.

          Explain how cloth bags are “better” than paper bags.

        • Groanan says:

          Sorry, I misread your misreading of my note; I was talking about paper and cloth, not plastic and cloth.

  23. dicobalt says:

    I don’t have a problem with the bags as we recycle them. I have a problem with the bagger using too many bags. Do you really need an entire bag to hold one onion? Fill those bags up! It makes loading and unloading much quicker and easier.

  24. technoreaper says:

    California just got weirder…no wonder people are trying to get out so badly. What a shame.

  25. AM says:

    Funny how all the stores have shelves full of bags, 50 to 100 ft of plastic bags!
    We got garbage in all sizes, sandwich bags, freezer bags, zip lock, fold over, ect ect…
    LOL, just buy a box of garbage bags. Stuff it in a bag use it at home for garbage
    So let’s ban the ones we get free!

  26. DrPizza says:

    I must be the only person in the nation who always reuses my grocery bags for:
    A: cleaning out the cat litter daily
    B: taking out ALL of my household garbage daily

    I assume that a lot of people are slobs who have big garbage bags in their kitchen and allow garbage to accumulate until the bag is full several days later.

  27. cameronl says:

    good. I farking HATE those damn bags. Not because they’re bad for the environment or some other crunchy granola hippy reason. They just suck. Baggers at the supermarket put only two or three items in each bag, so now I have 10 bags, and everything rolls out of them in the car trunk.

    I use the reusable bags when I remember, and ask for good ol’ paper sacks. What would have been 10 plastic bags is now three, properly and fully loaded, and they stay standing in the car.

    Now if I can just get the stores to train the baggers to properly load them…

  28. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    everyone should ban these and we should go to reusables. and we should plan our reusables to be cleanable too.

  29. TheBear says:

    YAY!! The City of Angels cured cancer!! Now the State of Regulations AKA California can cure cancer also with all the money they have to enact laws.
    Be a good citizen, listen to your government, don’t do anything your government determines is not good for you.

  30. Emerald4me says:

    Greeeeaaattt. Now I get to pay for plastic bags to pick up the doggie doo each morning. I need to start asking my friends now for their extra bags and I can store them in the garage. And I agree with the others who said that once the package of chicken starts leaking out of the “reusable” bag and into my car, there are two things I “get” to wash. Time to waste water.

  31. Woodside Park Bob says:

    Meanwhile in Montgomery County, Maryland …. the county government issued a press release advising people to use the free plastic bags — the ones that supermarkets have to put fruit and vegetables in — in their reusable shopping bags to protect from viruses. The fruit and vegetable bags aren’t taxed like the regular plastic carryout bags are.

    So instead of using one taxed carryout bag, we should use several of the free plastic bags. How’s that for protecting the environment! The emperor has no clothes!

  32. Jak Crow says:

    This is a great idea. It will prevent more of this: