Los Angeles Becomes Largest City in US to Ban Plastic Bags

by , 06/26/13

los angeles, plastic bags, plastic bag ban, pollution, water issues, environmental destruction, california
Plastic Bag photo via Shutterstock

Following in the footsteps of San Francisco, Seattle, and other cities around the world, the Los Angeles City Council has voted to ban single-use plastic bags. Plastic bags have a huge environmental cost as they enter landfills, waterways and ultimately the ocean, and campaign groups fought hard for the measure, which received 11-1 votes in favor from the council. The measure will go into effect on January 1st, 2014, and it makes Los Angeles the largest city in the U.S. to ban plastic bags. Not only that, but it means that by the end of 2014, over 30% of California’s population will be covered by laws regulating plastic and paper bags.

los angeles, plastic bags, plastic bag ban, pollution, water issues, environmental destruction, californiaPhoto via Shutterstock

The ban requires Los Angeles’ stores to provide paper bags for a fee of 10 cents to shoppers who do not bring their own bags to the store—with the proceeds from those fees going to the stores themselves to offset the costs to adhering to the ordinance. From January 1st, stores that make over $2 million per year or have an area of over 10,000 square feet will have to comply with the ban, while smaller stores will have until July 1st 2014 to make the necessary changes.

At least some members of the Los Angeles City Council hope that the measure will act as a game changer in California, and further beyond. Councilman Paul Krekorian explained “Enough waiting for the Legislature to someday act on this… let’s take a lead,” while Councilman Paul Koretz, who introduced the city ordinance, added “Los Angeles is often a trendsetter.. this could be a model for the rest of the country.”

According to Heal the Bay, California spends a whopping $25 million each year to landfill plastic bags, meanwhile Los Angeles reportedly spends $2 million each year cleaning up some of the two billion single-use plastic bags used annually. In spite of strong recycling programs in large parts of the state, the recycling rate for single-use plastic bags in California stands at a relatively paltry five percent.

Via The Los Angeles Times

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  1. MareTheVoice June 30, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I gave up bags altogether and use a “box” instead. CRESBI crates are light plastic crates designed specifically for grocery shopping and they really do work. they stack, collapse, are dishwasher safe plus they also hold more than most bags. Isave time too since I open the crates as I shop and turn barcodes up on my items as I put them in the crates. Then the checker scans my items in each crate with their handheld scanner and hands the crates back to me! Checkers tell me they love this because it increases their scans per minute/baggers because they\\\’re not reaching into dark murky reusable bags that flop around which i never liked anyway. I use different colors for food – red for meat, green for veggies, so everything’s all sorted when i get home. found them at CRESBI.com, Definitely cost more but worth it to me to not have to mess with bags at all and to take control over how my stuff gets packed and they will last way longer than the cheap reusable bags. I can’t say enough about them, if everyone used these there’d be no lines at the checkout and no paper or plastic debate.

  2. Marty Parrish June 26, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Great insight and advice. For grocery shopping I use one of the bags from http://www.NatureBag.org – Reusuable, green, eco-friendly and EXTREMELY strong. No plastic bags for me. These natural bags seem to never break or wear out and they are made from renewable, sustainable resources.

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