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Departments and Divisions Public Works Services Plastic Bag Ban
Plastic Bag Ban FAQ

PLASTIC BAG BAN FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Background:

On April 22, 2014, the City Council unanimously voted to ban the use of single use plastic bags in Beverly Hills.

Why are plastic bags being banned?

  • Plastic bags have detrimental effects to our environment.
  • A single plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to degrade.
  • Plastic bags are the second-most common type of ocean refuse, after cigarette butts.
  • Plastic bags remain toxic even after they break down.
  • Every square mile of ocean has about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it.
  • Plastic bags are difficult to recycle. Less than 5% of the 19 billion (19,000,000,000) plastic bags used annually in California are actually recycled.

When does this ordinance go into effect?

The plastic bag ban will be carried out in two phases.

  • The First phase of the ordinance went into effect on July 1, 2014.
  • Phase two, which bans plastic bags at small grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, and food markets, will be put into practice on January 1, 2015.

Which stores are affected?

Only stores selling breads, sodas, snacks, or other convenient items are affected.

Phase 1 stores include:

  • Ride Aid (Canon Dr.)
  • Ride Aid (Bedford Dr.)
  • CVS (Wilshire Blvd)
  • Pavilions
  • Whole Foods

What if I don't have reusable bags?

Since the ordinance’s adoption, the city has distributed reusable bags to residents at community events. As part of the ordinance, stores are required to carry inventory of reusable bags, which may be purchased by customers if needed. Stores are also required to sell paper bags for .10 cents each, so remember to bring your reusable bags when you shop!

Are paper bags still harmful to the environment?

Yes, paper bags still have damaging effects to the environment.

  • In the US, about 14 million trees are cut down to make paper bags each year.
  • It takes about four times more energy than making plastic bags to produce paper bags.
  • It takes three times as much water to make a paper bag than it does to make a plastic bag.

What are some things I should know about using reusable bags?

Reusable bags are great for the environment because you can use them over and over again.

Make sure to wash your bags every couple of weeks. The best bags are ones that can go in a washing machine!

How can I remember to bring my reusable bag?

  • Have more than one reusable bag and keep them in different places. Keep one in your backpack or purse.
  • Leave bags in your car. If you forget to bring them in, you can go back to the car and get them!
  • Keep bags with items that you need. You can put them with your house keys, cell phone, wallet, etc.
  • Leave a “BRING YOUR BAGS” note on your door.
  • Put reminders on your shopping lists.

Are there any exceptions?

For customers participating in Electronic Benefit Transfers (EBT), Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) or the CalFresh/Supplemental Food Program (SNAP), stores have the option of providing customers reusable bags or recyclable paper bags free of charge.

Have other cities banned plastic bags too?

Yes. All Westside cities have now adopted the plastic bag bans, so don’t be caught without your bags!