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L.A. Readies Plastic Bag Ban

Won't reduce litter, only jobs.

3:01 PM, May 7, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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This month, the Los Angeles city council is expected to ban single-use plastic bags. “[T]he ban is an attempt by the city to reduce litter,” says the Los Angeles Daily News. But it is likely to reduce something else: jobs.

“[A] city ban could prompt the layoff of between 20 and 130 employees” at Crown Poly, a plastic bag manufacturer in L.A., according to the Los Angeles Times. Hundreds more could be at risk in the city.

In response to the likely ban, at risk employees have been in front the city council, explaining their argument for keeping bags legal. This video shows what they told the council and how they were received:

"I'm a single mother and my family depends on me and my income that Crown Poly provides for myself," one lady tells the council in the video. "Besides the health insurance that Crown Poly provides for me, it provides for my children as well."

The video text reads: "But some elected officials ignore the real harms of a ban, equating workers to horse and buggy makers."

"So if we were here a hundred years ago," city council member Paul Koretz is quoted as saying, "would we be saying, 'We must not produce automobiles because buggies and buggy whips will--manufacturers won't have jobs anymore?' Of course we wouldn't."

The pro-bag ban argument is fatuous, however. 

Consider the San Francisco case, which outlawed the bags in 2007. "San Francisco did a survey and found that 0.6 percent of its litter was from plastics," the Daily News reports. "After they had a ban, plastics accounted for 0.64 percent of their litter. It made no difference." And in fact plastic, single-use bags are recyclable.

So not only will the bag ban likely not bring down litter, it is likely to cause folks to lose jobs. Is there any wonder California is ranked the worst state for businesses?

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