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Monrovia Council to Consider Plastic Bag Restrictions

A city-appointed "Reusable Bag Regulation Ad Hoc Committee" is recommending to the City Council that Monrovia follow the lead of Pasadena and other cities by restricting the use of single-use plastic bags. The council will consider a ban at its March 18 meeting (agenda:

The restrictions "would affect approximately 34 Monrovia retailers: 8 grocery stores, 3 liquor stores, 3 drug stores, 1 drive-in dairy, 6 gas stations with foodmarts, and 13 miscellaneous food stores," according to the staff report.


Opinion: I have already written of my objections to this type of ban here (, but I would like to add some points.

1) Some people say that even supermarkets approve of these bans. Of course! They get to charge extra whenever someone forgets to bring in a reusable bag, and at the same time they can say, "We understand your frustration entirely, but the city is forcing us to do this."

2) In response to objections that multiple-use bags can transmit disease (meat juice leaks out and contaminates the bag), some ban proponents have said, "Well, wash them." But this means using scarce water, and if this is a trivial environmental concern, then single-use plastic bags are even more so.

3) I don't think there actually are any "single-use" bags. People use them for dozens of purposes after they've brought in their groceries, from sharing vegetables with a friend to picking up dog poop.

4) How is it fair to prevent food stores from using these bags but it is okay to let newspapers be delivered in precisely this kind of bag every morning?

- Brad Haugaard


  1. Just got my new phone book (way too many of them sent out every year) and it was in a plastic bag. ????????

  2. Our phone book (and plastic bag) went straight into the trash. Who in the world uses a phone book these days?

  3. Seems a little silly to compare this ban with every other use of plastic bags. Sounds like you are just reaching for more points to add to the list. But, cool that you can still use your newspaper bags to pick up your dog poop. And isn't it great that it's one bag per day, just enough to cover your usage.

    1. Don't have a dog. If it's a valid point - and it is - I'll absolutely add it to my list.