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La Cañada City Council backs off from plastic bag ban study

May 09, 2013
  • Plastic bags at Ralph's in La Canada Flintridge on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. The city council initially considered banning bags in La Canada but three council members decided not to support the study. Neighbors arrived en masse during the last two council meetings to urge that the issue be placed on a future agenda.
Plastic bags at Ralph's in La Canada Flintridge… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

Plastic bags won’t disappear from La Cañada Flintridge grocery stores in the near future.

Three of the five City Council members showed opposition Monday night to studying an ordinance that would limit or ban single-use plastic bags in the city.

Neighbors arrived en masse during the last two council meetings to urge that the issue be placed on a future agenda. But Mayor Laura Olhasso said unless one of the council members has a change of heart, the city cannot move forward with it.

Olhasso and City Councilman Jon Curtis were in favor of studying how such a law could impact the city.

“It’s an environmental issue and it’s a matter of sustainability,” said Curtis. “All we’re asking here for council tonight is let’s study it a little bit, let’s take a little bit of a look at it and get all the information in front of us.”

Curtis said that the city should not wait for California lawmakers to take action and possibly enact a state-wide ban. But Councilman Dave Spence said it was “foolish” to look into the issue because an upcoming state regulation could supersede any city decision.

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“I’m a strong proponent of environmental issues and I’m a strong proponent of this city actively volunteering to use their reusable bags until the state makes a decision regarding this issue,” said Spence.

Spence and Councilmen Don Voss and Michael Davitt all said they trust residents to make their own ecological decisions.

Olhasso thanked the residents who spoke out, but warned them the item wouldn’t appear on a future agenda without more council support. “We tried,” she said.

-- Tiffany Kelly, tiffany.kelly@latimes.com

Follow on Google+ and on Twitter: @LATiffanyKelly.

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