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London, LA weigh bag bans in aftermath of San Francisco decision

According to press reports, civic leaders in both London and Los Angeles expressed interest in following in San Francisco’s footsteps and banning plastic retail bags but are hamstrung by local laws.
In the case of LA, an April 12 editorial in The Los Angeles Times pointed out that the city and county does no composting, eliminating the biocompostable-bag route taken by San Francisco. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted last week to study the issue of a ban, but the Times points out that recycling initiatives on the books already address bag-waste issues.
One supervisor supported the ban on the basis that she couldn’t recycle the bags using the existing curbside pickup, when in fact, she can. Per the Times editorial, “The region can make progress if the city and county coordinate their policies. They simply have to talk to one another.”
In the case of London, Mayor Ken Livingstone, told the web site, letsrecycle.com that San Francisco “is to be applauded,” for the ban. Although Livingstone’s office doesn’t wield the necessary power to implement a similar ban, he is interested in a voluntary system for retailers, and the creation of a single waste authority, which would have the requisite authority. Such an entity was rejected with the 2010 Summer Olympics in London looming, and fears that such a sweeping change in advance of such an immense event could affect trash collection. An editorial in the New York Times called for states and local governments to develop rules to encourage use of multi-trip carry bags.
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