Note: The Los Angeles EIR includes discussion of air quality, water quality, and greenhouse gas emissions. Pages 109 to 111 show the reduction of solid waste projections if a plastic bag ban plus fee for paper were implemented. Pages 113 to 124 compare alternative plan projections. The public comments section includes not only valuable supporting statements, plus a very lengthy brief in opposition from the “Save the Plastic Bag Coalition” (pages 324 to 456). Responses to this Coalition's key arguments are printed on pages 296 to 322).
Comprehensive studies conducted both before and after passage demonstrate that laws to reduce bag waste have tremendous positive environmental impacts and no negative economic impacts. There is generally a short period of transition where retailer costs go up as they switch from plastic to paper, but these level out quickly once consumers become accustomed to using reusable bags. A minimum charge for bags that meet mandated requirements significantly defrays additional costs to retailers without alienating consumers.
WORKING TOGETHER FOR JUST AND SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
The Impact of Plastic Bag Laws
Environmental and Economic Impact Analyses
Economic Impact Analysis: Proposed Ban on Plastic Carryout Bags in Los Angeles County (AECOM, 2010)
Life cycle assessment of supermarket carrier bags (UK Environment Agency, 2011)
Compares environmental impact of disposable and reusable bags
Follow-up Studies After Implementation