Plastic Bag Ban

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The City of West Hollywood has approved an ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags from all pharmacy, grocery, and retail stores. The City Council approved the ban on August 20, 2012.

  • Need a reusable shopping bag? Stop by City Hall, 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard, to pick up a complimentary reusable bag while supplies last (coming soon!).

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 PURPOSE

  • Encourage sustainability by substituting plastic bags with durable and long-lasting reusable bags, and paper bags made from recycled materials. 
  • Reduce costs to businesses, consumers, taxpayers, and the environment. 
  • Eliminate waste, litter and marine debris, and create local green jobs.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

  • The ban applies to all retail establishments.
  • Retail stores under 10,000 square feet have until August 20, 2013 to comply with the plastic bag ban. 
  • Stores are required to charge customers 10 cents for each paper bag; the stores will collect and retain the money to help cover the additional costs of stocking the paper bags. This also encourages shoppers to use reusable bags. 
  • Paper bags will be required to contain 40% post-consumer recycled content. 
  • Stores are encouraged to make reusable shopping bags available for purchase. 
  • Customers are encouraged to bring their own bags.

The City of West Hollywood is eager to work with businesses to facilitate this transition to greater sustainability. We are joined by many neighboring cities in this effort, including a recently approved ban by the City of Los Angeles that will take effect next year. 

WHO/WHAT IS EXEMPTED?

  • Customers who qualify for subsidized groceries will be exempt from the paper bag fee. 
  • Light-weight plastic bags without handles for transporting produce and raw meat products to the point of sale. 
  • Restaurants and other food service providers who provide plastic bags to customers for prepared take-out food intended for off-premises consumption. 
  • Farmers markets and drycleaners.

FACTS AND FIGURES

$300 million     The annual cost to government agencies in California to pick up and dispose of litter 
    19 billion      The number of single-use plastic bags used in California each year 
          5             The percentage of single-use plastic bags that are recycled 
         12            The average number of minutes single-use plastic bags are used for 
        500           The number of single-use bags the average American could avoid using each year by switching to reusable bags

  • Plastic bags are produced from non-renewable resources. Fewer bags help conserve our limited resources
  • The costs of “free” single-use bags are passed on to consumers at checkout, and to taxpayers who pay for litter clean-up

MORE INFORMATION

ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTATION