La Cañada Flintridge City Council members were once again divided this week on whether to study a ban on plastic bags.
Residents from La Cañada and nearby cities on Monday night urged council members to look into the issue, despite being turned down at previous meetings over the summer.
Mayor Laura Olhasso urged council members to reconsider.
“If you don’t like recycled bags, then you can pay a dime and use a paper bag,” she said. “It’s not like you don’t have any choices. If you forget your recycled bags, you can carry it out in your hands or you can get a paper bag which also recyclable.”
“I don’t understand our reluctance to do this,” she added.
Councilman Jon Curtis was also in support of studying a plastic bag ban. “I don’t think it’s a burden on staff to study something like this,” he said.
But councilmen Don Voss, Dave Spence and Michael Davitt were against it. Since a majority vote is required to move an issue forward, the topic will not appear on a future City Council agenda.
Voss said that residents do not need a new law to change their habits regarding plastic bags and that residents can choose not to accept a plastic bag at the checkout counter.
“Each person who spoke tonight has made their own decision about the use of plastic bags,” said Voss. “They did not need an ordinance to help them with that decision.”
Davitt suggested a program to hand out reusable bags to residents in the city.
Rody Stephenson, who has led the effort to seek a plastic bag ban in La Cañada, said the city is “isolated” in a region where other cities — such as Glendale and Pasadena — have recently enacted a ban.
“Stores would like to have consistency,” he said.
Stephenson told council members that the city could save money on storm drain clean-up and efforts to clean up plastic bag litter. He said educational programs are not as effective at reducing plastic as a ban.
“I’m disappointed that they turned it down again,” he said after the meeting.