Ask Paul...Why Did You Support the Ban on Plastic Bags?

Send in your questions to askpaul@lacity.org

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:

Dear friends,

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

lee dubrow May 26, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Before plastic bags there was only FREE paper bags. A new industry can pop up for biodegradeable bags(no oil() they have synthetic car oil special "paper" that can go into microwave I am certain something already can take the place of these PLASTIC bags because they have so many products now in lieu of plastic!!??It is not the cleanup I object too its those bags getting into our ioceans and destroying sealife!!
Sheri Haas May 26, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Another great photo op for Paul to add to his dog and pony show with red paint on Colfax. Now he can pose with trash bags. What a waste of time and money. Paper bags have always been available as part of doing business. Are the police going to enforce this new ten cent "tax"? Do we pay for groceries and then pay again when our number of paper bags has been determined? Government nonsence again.
Skraeling May 26, 2012 at 08:53 PM
You're posts simply continue to amaze with their limited scope. For your information, paper bags have not ALWAYS been available..maybe in your self obsessed life, but I remember well when people carried their own bags and that coninued well after WW2. I think you should move to some place that has no real government or where people hate the police and pay little or no tax, and see how well you do there. Since i served in the Peace Corps I could recommend a few..they would eat you alive..
Sheri Haas May 26, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I am entitled to my comments and opinions and do not need to be attacked by some old unhappy geezer. Try posting something of substance and learn to debate and respect others opinions even if different from your own. Your name calling is very unattractive. I presume you are a person with dirty smelly bacteria filled grocery bags left over from pre-WW11.
AJ May 27, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Completely absurd. More government regulation without so much as a thought of the secondary consequences (driven away businesses, job losses, health risks) all for the sake of "environmentalism". These are the sorts of regulations that are killing California. Jobs and people are fleeing the state in droves - and that...that is what is truly not sustainable.
Marie Fairman May 27, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Have any of you ever worked at a sanitary landfill? Do you have any concept of the amount of plastics bags that live there for at the very least our lifetimes. Yeah there are measures being taken to mitigate their longevity but the problem is ubiquitous and does need to be addressed. When I lived in Israel years ago everyone took a bag with them when they shopped. Why is this so hard for us to do? Losing jobs because the lack of plastic bags to carry our groceries. C'mon think outside the bag a little. At some point we should phase them out. Why not now? I don't use them because I worked at a dump when I was kid and I saw I was contributing to a major problem and the solution was simple.
Skraeling May 27, 2012 at 09:06 PM
BINGO! Our freeways are lined with them....Instead of all these people complaining, they should organize and create a company to manufacture resusable bags..They will clean up...it is so much like the FOX news and Limbaugh crowd to complain and play victim than do something positive for themselves and others.
Skraeling May 27, 2012 at 09:07 PM
your remarks deserve no respect. You favored vandalism...enough said, right there. I assume you are still a child.
Skraeling May 27, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Hey AJ, the sky is falling....move to a safer place..
Skraeling May 27, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Thank you, Marie...but people here love being a victim of "big government" but have no idea what it is to live in a nation with little government..They will find out...
Bob Peppermuller May 28, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Everybody who shops Costco or Sam's club is fully trained in no bag usage. The occasional cardboard box I get from them ends up in the blue bin. I reuse plastic bags until they tear or get grungy. I will miss that but will survive. So if you miss plastic bags shop Burbank (for now).
zapple May 28, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Amen, and Amen Sheri.. my sentiments exactly.. .what a was of print, columnist's time and just another photo opp for Kerkorian... and the rest of the City Council... it's stupid. I recycle ALL of my plastic bags, line my bathroom waste baskets with them and return the others to recycle bins or the library so people can carry out their books en masse... Get a life, government, and stay out of our business... and don't throw them, or let them blow into the oceans..please
Miki Henderson June 08, 2012 at 08:05 PM
I sort of disagree with you on the ban for the bags (i need them to pick up the dog poo) whatever, save the fish, I get it, but what about these pot shops. I"m an old lady, and I don't do drugs (anymore), but I know many people, some contemporaries of mine, who need it, and I don't want to see them shut down. Paul, do you agree with what Mr. Koretz is proposing? I know some people in Studio City want them all gone, but it seems like there are some nice owners here who aren't sleazy, and i'm around the corner of two of them and don't smell them at all.


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