Burbank to draft plastic bag ban

The Burbank City Council this week agreed to move forward with a plastic bag ban that will likely start with large grocery stores.

The draft ordinance will be based largely on the ban currently in place for unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, where since July 1, larger supermarkets and pharmacies have also been required to charge 10 cents each for paper bags.

“The issue is at point-of-sale at grocery stores,” Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy said. “I don’t think most residents will see this as a big crimp when they shop.”

Not everyone on the dais was convinced, with some speakers at the meeting decrying what they said was another example of government overreach. They already said they use the plastic bags for more than just taking home groceries.

Even Councilman Gary Bric, who owns a restaurant, said he was concerned he might be blamed if customers eventually have to bring in reusable bags for takeout.

But his colleagues on the council said public feedback on a possible ban had been overwhelmingly positive.

“The e-mails I get are 10-to-one in support,” Gabel-Luddy said, adding that the majority of people she had spoken to were already using canvas or other reusable bags.

Kreigh Hampel, recycling coordinator for the city,

said his job gives him a front-row seat to how many plastic bags are used in the city.

“When you talk about plastic bags, about 500 to 600 bags are used per person, per year, according to Los Angeles County,” Hampel said. “If there are 110,000 people in Burbank, and they use 550 bags, that’s 60.5 million bags.”

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