Scouts from Troop 2019G and Pack 762 of Santa Clarita, left, hold a sign reminding customers to bring their own bags to the grocery store as they stand with Lynne Plambeck, L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger and BSA District Executive Jeffrey Shrewsbury after a Barger recycling press conference held at a Ralphs grocery store in Valencia on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Barger urges community to recycle plastic grocery bags

Many don’t know that plastic grocery bags aren’t easy to recycle and don’t belong in your recycling bins, as they will simply end up in a landfill. These bags can then take up to 1,000 years to decompose.

That’s why L.A. County 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger collaborated with Scouts BSA to address the importance of recycling during a press conference at Ralphs in Valencia Wednesday.

“Recycling is more than separating plastics and cardboard in our bins at home or opting for reusable straws,” Barger said. “A few years ago, as you all probably know, the state legislation banned single-use plastic bags, mandating that they be stronger and more recyclable.” 

Barger added that this legislation also required customers to begin paying 10 cents per bag, but what many weren’t aware of — Barger herself as well — was that these bags could not be recycled in bins at home.

Instead, residents are urged to either reuse their plastic bags or return them to designated recycling bins for proper handling, which many grocery stores, including all Ralphs locations, have in the front by their doors. 

“Ralphs’ initiative is to be a zero-waste company by 2020, and we’re nearly there,” said Ralphs Store Manager Dave Arnold. “We’re also very proud to partner with the local community here in Santa Clarita Valley to offer plastic bag recycling containers at our stores.” 

Scouts from Troop 2019G and Pack 762 of Santa Clarita, left, stand as L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger speaks at a recycling press conference held at a Ralphs grocery store in Valencia on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Scouts from Troop No. 2019G, the first all-girl troop in Santa Clarita, and Pack 762, local Cub Scouts, joined Barger for the meeting and will earn a badge for driving local excitement about recycling.

“Scouting SCV is family scouting — that’s what it’s about, uniting our SCV families all together,” said Jeff Shrewsbury, district executive for the Santa Clarita Valley. “Recycling is our duty, and our Scouts are leading in this recycling program here in Santa Clarita, and I’m proud to be helping with that — we can make a difference together.”

“This is a practical, easy way for us all to do a better job to save our planet every time we go to the market,” Barger said. “By encouraging recycling, we’re reducing landfill waste, conserving natural resources, and reducing energy consumption … Best of all, we are uniting our Santa Clarita community for a positive cause, and I think that’s the most exciting thing.”

If you believe a store isn’t complying with the state bag ban, you can call Los Angeles County’s Clean L.A. hotline at 888-CLEANLA (888-253-2658).

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