Lincoln Brown

You can reuse them, you can recycle them, but if you own a store in Los Angeles, you had better not get caught with them. I’m talking about plastic bags which the LA City Council voted to ban on Wednesday.

“Handle less” bags that hold produce are exempt. Depending on the size of the store, merchants in the City of Angels have either six or twelve months to start selling reusable bags- or start providing them for free.

LA will have four Environmental Compliance Inspectors who will traverse the city enforcing the ban, which will cost $418,075 just to implement. Plastic bag scofflaws will first receive a warning, followed by a fine of $100. Should that fail to convince the storeowner, a fine of $200 will be levied. After that, retailers face a $500 fine for each day that  they continue to show contempt for Mother Earth.

One great thing about plastic bags is that one can use them over and over again. I pack my lunch in them and there is nothing better for holding dirty clothes while traveling. And if I remember the propaganda correctly, plastic bags were going to be recycled into useful things like homes, bottles, and more plastic bags.

Another nifty thing about plastic bags is that people are needed to make and distribute them. According to CNS News, the American Progressive Bag Alliance employs 30,800 workers across the country, a figure that does not include those people who work in recycling centers.

But why should the environmental lobby meet the industry part-way on recycling, when it can get everything it wants handed to it in a bag? Or more appropriately without a bag?

So now Los Angeles merchants can look forward to increased costs, unannounced inspections, more government overhead, and the possibility of fines. All of which dovetail nicely with Governor Brown’s threat to hike taxes.

No wonder businesses are fleeing the Golden State for almost anywhere else. Just as long as they pack light. No telling when the plastic suitcase ban will go into effect.


Lincoln Brown

Lincoln Brown is the Program Director at KVEL Radio in Vernal, Utah. He hosts “The Lincoln Brown Show” Mondays through Fridays from 8-9 AM.