L.A. votes to Ban Bags

Our allies at Heal The Bay were instrumental in moving the LA council resolution forward.
Our allies at Heal The Bay were instrumental in moving the Los Angeles council resolution forward.

You’ve probably heard by now – the City of Los Angeles voted on Tuesday afternoon to become the largest city in the U.S. to ban plastic carryout bags.  For those who have been following the progress of bag bans in the Bay Area, this vote underlines the ever-increasing momentum for local ordinances to protect waterways and keep communities free of trash and litter.

When it goes in to effect, L.A.’s ban will mean that an incredible ¼ of California’s population will be covered by some form of a plastic bag ban.  That’s huge progress

in just the handful of years since San Francisco became the first city in the state to enact such a ban in 2007.  Even more impressive is the number of bags that this latest ban will take off the streets.  According to Los Angeles sanitation officials, an estimated 2 billion (that’s billion with a “B”) plastic bags will no longer be handed out following implementation between January and July of 2014.

The momentum is indeed on the side of the environment and our communities. Thanks, Los Angeles.

Want to know whether your city has enacted a ban?  Check out our up-to-date list of Bay Area bag bans, and sign up to learn more about bags, the Bay, and what you can do.

Board Spotlight | Maureen Reilly

Maureen Reilly
Maureen enjoys sailing on San Francisco Bay.

Maureen Reilly has been a member of Save The Bay’s Board of Directors since 2008.  Maureen lives in San Francisco and is Senior Vice President at Chase Business Credit/JP Morgan Chase. She enjoys hiking, photography, sailing and running along the Bay.

Why did you decide to get involved with Save The Bay?

I moved to San Francisco in 2005 from southern California where I had been an active volunteer with Heal the Bay.  Save The Bay has a similar mission to that organization (i.e., conservation and pollution prevention), together with a great staff and large group of members/advocates.  I was surprised to learn how much of SF Bay had been lost to in-fill before Save The Bay was formed and really wanted to work with an organization that is dedicated to preserving and protecting our area’s top natural treasure.

What is your favorite thing about the San Francisco Bay Area?

I pretty much love everything about San Francisco and the Bay Area – the amazing outdoors, the food and wine, the great cultural organizations, the unique people, the climate.  I was born in San Francisco but my family moved back east when I was a young child – it took me a long time to get back and I hope to never leave.

Do you have a favorite site along the Bay?

I love to hike to the top of Angel Island for the 360-degree view of the Bay – it is truly breathtaking.  (And beers at Sam’s afterwards are always a great treat.)  I also enjoy Wednesday Night Sails with the OCSC Sailing Club out of the Berkeley marina – the perfect way to break up the workweek.

If you could be one Bay plant or animal, what would it be and why?

Probably a sea lion – they seem to have fun lounging out by Pier 29.

Who is your environmental hero?

Kay Kerr, Sylvia McLaughlin and Esther Gulick , of course! 

What is your first/fondest memory of San Francisco Bay?

Learning to sail last summer – there were 24 knot winds on my very first day and I was white-knuckled, but hooked.

Anything else you want to tell us?

A day on the Bay is special – do try to get out sailing/kayaking/paddling as often as possible, your spirit will thank you.