In the weeks leading up to the City Council's vote - and in the days that followed its decision - our office received more than 15,000 emails, calls and faxes from folks throughout the country about this issue. The vast majority were in favor of the ban, though many - including here on Patch - are opposed. Without singling out any one comment, here is Councilmember Krekorian's response:
Thank you for letting me know your thoughts about the Council’s vote to begin phasing out single-use carryout plastic bags. I appreciate that you have taken the time to comment, whether you support our decision to move forward with a ban or do not. This is an important issue that has generated many calls and emails to my office, and I do my best to consider and to respect all viewpoints.
On Wednesday, Los Angels took an important step toward becoming the largest city in America to ban the plastic bags that are contaminating our ocean and beaches, killing marine life from Santa Monica to Tokyo, and blighting communities throughout the city. I wholeheartedly supported this common sense measure, knowing that it will save taxpayers millions of dollars each year on the costs of cleaning up discarded bags strewn about our city.
This ban will not take effect immediately. The Council has instructed the City Attorney to begin the process of drafting the ordinance, and the Bureau of Sanitation will conduct a four-month environmental review. That review will be followed by a phase-in period of six months before the plastic bags will actually be banned.
Once the plastic bag ban is in place, single use paper bags may still be offered by stores, with a ten cent charge. There are no current plans to ban disposable paper bags.
I appreciate that there are many divergent viewpoints on this issue. There is no question in my mind, however, that this measure will save taxpayers money, reduce blight in our neighborhoods, and protect the health of our ocean and waterways.
Soon, instead of spending millions of dollars of our taxpayer dollars every year cleaning up plastic bag litter, we can use that money on our parks, ambulance services, youth programs, economic development and other essential services. We can’t afford to delay action any longer.
Thank you again for taking the time to reach out to me on this issue. I always welcome your thoughts.
Very truly yours,
Councilmember, Second District