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Editorial: City should ban the bag

July 29, 2011

As a recommendation from the Sustainable Burbank Task Force to ban single-use plastic bags wends its way to the City Council, we hope the proposition gathers enough steam to overcome what could be forceful lobby from the business community.

The ban, already in effect in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, has been upheld in court, and despite all the naysayers, grocery buying has not ground to a halt. And as the task force pointed out, it wouldn’t cost Burbank much to piggyback off the county’s extensive Environmental Impact Review for the plastic bag ban to implement similar rules cityside.

For a city that has held itself out as a trailblazer in pushing environmentally friendly regulations and practices — hybrid taxis, smoke-free laws, renewable energy benchmarks, etc. — to not co-opt a plastic bag ban after someone else has done the heavy lifting seems like an obvious missed opportunity to stay on the wave of change.

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And given the propensity of big-box retailers to latch onto the city — with the notable powerhouse of Walmart possibly moving in — it would behoove city leaders to take swift action now so businesses either have time to adjust or know what they’re getting into prior to moving in.

Burbank could, once more, reclaim bragging rights in the region for a policy that will have a very real impact on the environment and local landfills.

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