"Maybe," Reyes said. "But first let's give what we have right now a chance. Los Angeles is not San Francisco. We are much bigger and much more diverse. We need to look at things that would be effective. ... "We have to educate people," he said. "It's a process." And if that doesn't work, Reyes said, then it'll be time to look at more aggressive approaches, such as what San Francisco is doing.So I wonder, will plastic bag recycling work in Los Angeles? This is a very important question. With resin prices at high levels and large numbers of Californians (including the Governator) concerned about the environment, this is a great opportunity for bag makers, recyclers and retailers to prove that plastic bags can be part of a sustainable economy. It would appear that the stars are aligned in their favor. But there's still a lot that can go wrong. Someone needs to recycle the bags, obviously, but there are rumblings of trouble in the plastic lumber industry right now, as manufacturers of recycled-content decks are competing with companies that are making similar products out of virgin resins. And perhaps the biggest risk of all is that consumers in Los Angeles just might not bother to recycle plastic bags in large enough numbers to make a difference. How much money should industry invest in trying convince the public to recycle? Is this a battle just for bag makers, or should the plastics industry as a whole try to get behind the effort?
Will bag recycling work in Los Angeles?
Los Angeles Times writer David Lazarus has an interesting story in today's "Consumer Confidential" column about how the city is dealing with the plastic bag issue. In light of the San Francisco plastic bag ban that took effect this week, Lazaraus talked to Los Angeles city councilman Ed Reyes about the city's effort to promote recycling of plastic bags, a strategy he is pushing rather than initiating a ban or a tax. Lazarus asked Reyes, would a San Francisco-style ban work in Los Angeles?
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