West Hollywood, the city best known for being Southern California’s unofficial gay capital and having its finger to the pulse of all things hip and happening, has become the latest city to take a stand against plastic bags. This week, West Hollywood’s City Council adopted an ordinance banning grocery stores, pharmacies and other community retailers from offering single-use plastic bags to customers. Now, under the ordinance, West Hollywood stores can offer paper bags as an option, but the paper bags must contain at least 40% recycled content. If they choose paper bags, customers will also get dinged a dime per bag.
By passing its bag regulations, West Hollywood joins cities like San Francisco, Santa Monica, Long Beach and Pasadena which have passed similar plastic bag bans. The measures are designed to reduce the amount of waste dumped into landfills. They are also supposed to help decrease the amount of flimsy plastic washed into municipal storm drains, where it eventually flows out into the open ocean and poses a threat to marine life.
Large West Hollywood stores have six-months to comply with the new bag rules, smaller stores get a year before they have to say farewell to plastic bags.