USC considers plastic bag ban at campus center

In response to a recent movement by the Los Angeles City Council to end the distribution of single-use plastic bags in supermarket checkout lines, USC is looking to incorporate alternative options, such as reusable bags, in hospitality venues on campus.

The Los Angeles City Council’s Energy and Environment Committee submitted a formal proposal April 5 for a ban on plastic and paper bags at more than 7,500 stores throughout Los Angeles.

Kris Klinger, director of USC Hospitality, said the challenge for the university is figuring out ways to make reusable bags easy for students to obtain and use.

“The issue is a lot of folks end up doing the same thing with reusable bags as disposable bags,” Klinger said.

Jimmy Villaflor, a freshman majoring in pop music, said if reusable bags were conveniently available on campus he would use them.

“It wouldn’t be too hard to go from plastic bags to reusable bags,” Villaflor said. “It doesn’t seem any more inconvenient.”

Liz Bitzer, a sophomore majoring Spanish, said she carries her books, bags and a guitar with her around school every day. For her, having the option of plastic bags on campus is a matter of convenience and choice.

“As much as I’d love to bring a recyclable bag with me to class every day, I can’t,” Bitzer said. “I think that if you were to take them away entirely you wouldn’t have a lot of happy campers or students.”

The university plans to look at plastic bag bans at other universities to find the best way to implement its own policy.

“We’re trying to get an idea of the best practices so we can come up with an idea for what we want to do next year and get ahead of the game,” Klinger said.

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