A ban on plastic bags from store checkouts has been recommended by the Sustainable Burbank Task Force.
Councilman Gary Bric, a non-voting council representative to the task force, said the task force recommended the city move forward with a ban.
“This is just the first step,” Bric said.
The county ban went into effect July 1 for stores with gross annual sales of $2 million, or that have at least 10,000 square feet of floor space. Smaller stores in the county must comply by Jan. 1, 2012.
In addition to the plastic bag ban, the county ordinance imposes a 10-cent charge on recyclable paper bags.
Jessica Aldridge, executive director of the Burbank Green Alliance, who attended the task force meeting, said she is supportive of a plastic bag ban.
“So many cities in so many countries are more ahead of this than we are,” Aldridge said. “Burbank is a leader in sustainability … and if we’re saying we are going green and we are an eco-conscious city, I think it is something we should do.”
She acknowledged it may take some time for people to adjust their habits and said there may be some resistance from people to the thought of making a change.
“But once you get into the motions of the whole thing, it’s not going to be that difficult,” Aldridge said. “I have been plastic- and paper-bag-free for four years.”
The California Supreme Court recently sided with Manhattan Beach, which was sued by plastic bag manufacturers over its ban. The court stated the city did not have to have an Environmental Impact Report to enforce the ban.
Burbank would join a growing list of cities with plastic bag bans, including Santa Monica, Malibu and San Francisco.
The task force also recommended that the city piggyback off the extensive review performed by Los Angeles County, which instituted its own ban earlier this month. Calabasas and Long Beach used the county EIR as a template and have yet to face any legal challenges, according to a city report.
For more information on the county ordinance and plastic bags, visit: http://dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/aboutthebag/