Opposition: -Today’s Agenda Item 1- Policy to ban single-use bags in the City.
Dear City Council members:
I am the Secretary and Education Director of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council and am concerned with how this city operates, especially for those who live here now.
I speak here, not in any capacity of an ERNC member, but as a private citizen.
I am stating my opposition to Item 1 on today’s agenda – 11-1531
“ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE REPORT relative to the adoption of a policy to ban single-use bags in the City.”
I am concerned that your proposed action would have the effect of eliminating hundreds of jobs in the industry which would be another economic negative in the area.
The city council notion of Los Angeles “being business friendly” appears to be a slogan not followed in practice. The economic consequences of this plan should be re-considered.
I am aware that an overriding concern of eliminating litter, and the belief that plastic shopping bags are a major source of this sort of pollution.
I do think that some certainty of the basis for the policy and the consequences that enactment would create supports more study based on the long term impact of this proposal.
I have read that there is a very small part of the litter produced attributable to plastic bags. The higher visibility of plastic bags as litter may be the reason for the thought that the plastic bag is a much larger source of litter than it really is.
I see that the City Council zealously protects city employees from even the most justified reasons for layoffs. Consider the private sector in seeking to preserve jobs with the same zeal you act when it is city employees whose jobs are at stake. These workers would similarly be harmed by job losses that a city wide ban would cause.
The very topic of EDUCATION seems to be passed over as a potential alternative to the ban on bags.
Educating adults and children on environmental issues, here being the impact of litter including that with plastic bags, would be a meritorious alternative to enacting the proposed ban. People should know what consequences their behavior has on the society and environment, where reducing all forms of litter would be a goal of such education.
This direction would have overall benefits in some reduction of the trash that is not properly disposed of. The cause of most, it not all litter is MAN MADE, and not an eventuality of nature. Look to education and an improved level of civic responsibility.
HEALTH ISSUES from reusable bags, INCONVENIENCES for shoppers, a further BURDEN ON EXISTING BUSINESSES coping in a slow economy:
The alternative put forth here is using REUSABLE BAGS in place of plastic ones. That seems to me to create a good vehicle for germs, bacteria and anything else you might call a health hazard, and the need to use the bags as shopping would be a good method to spread germs as these Reusable Bags contact more surfaces.
Compare the level of biological contaminants that have been found in hotel rooms for the kinds of unintended health concerns produced by ever-present biological hazard.
Businesses already have a tough burden of surviving in this economy- a check on most business districts will show how closures are too frequent. More obstacles conjured up for legitimate business operators is not the preferred way to go. Creating more obstacles for the business community in L.A. may divert shoppers to areas that are more conducive to a shopper friendly experience.
Some shoppers may well shift there patterns for shopping to other cities nearby. In Eagle Rock, we have Glendale, South Pasadena, and Pasadena that have travel times of a few minutes.
Parking fee hikes and ongoing parking issues are among such factors that deter any enjoyable shopping experience that might be expected locally.
Do not increase this problem by adding more prohibitions, especially where the basis may not be as purported to be in terms of volume of litter attributable to plastic bags, and where other alternatives may bring a greater good in the longer term, benefiting L.A. in a wider scope.
PLEASE RECONSIDER what the approval of this agenda item would do as a negative result in a broader context as I have mentioned and for other reasons that require further discussion space.
Eagle Rock, CD-14