City Council Takes No Action on Ballona Creek Renaissance Request to Ban ‘Four Bad B’s’

Four Bad B’s? That’s balloons, bottles, cigarette butts and plastic bags. These items make up roughly 40% of the debris pulled out of Ballona Creek on the regular creek cleanup days hosted by the Ballona Creek Renaissance, Culver City’s local environmental non-profit group. 

At the April 29, 2024, the Culver City Council heard a presentation from the Ballona Creek Renaissance about banning these four types of trash. The BRC proposed that the city consider banning single use plastic bags, bottles, balloons, and cigarette butts.

Council chose not to vote on banning any of these; instead, it was decided that more communication needed to take place and that the Sustainability Subcommittee will take on the issue. 

Enacting a ban on single-use plastic beverage bottles would update Culver City’s existing laws on waste. It would prohibit the sale and use of plastic bottles for beverages, for both water and other beverages. While current laws already ban plastic water bottles at city facilities and events, there are still dozens of businesses that sell bottled water – from grocery stores to small eateries – and the ban has no effect, of course, on businesses or services in the city of Los Angeles. 

An additional proposal would expand the ban on single-use plastic carryout bags. The proposal is modeled on  municipal language used in Los Angeles and Carlsbad. Recent studies have shown that California’s plastic bag “ban” in 2014, that the amount of plastic bag waste has actually increased. 

Culver City’s ban of single use plastic was getting some positive results; prior to the pandemic. With the fear of contagion, plastic made a huge resurgence, and what was once a plethora of single use plastic bags in trash and litter has now expanded to include ‘reusable’ bags made from non-recyclable materials. 

The ban on balloons would prohibit the use and sale of Mylar and latex balloons would be included. A ban on outdoor smoking was also considered, as well as an additional ban on tobacco sales.

All of these bans will be considered by the Sustainability Sub-Committee, which is currently composed of Mayor Yasmine Imani McMorrin, and Council member Freddy Puza. 

The Ballona Creek Renaissance will continue to offer volunteer clean-up days, and work with the city to find more ways to reduce litter and pollution. 


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