Los Angeles becomes largest US city to ban shopping plastic bags

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On Tuesday, Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to move toward a ban on grocery plastic bags, with the City Council barring them in supermarkets, convenience stores and any big retailer that sells groceries.

Joining Seattle, San Francisco and Westport, CT in agreeing that the environmental drawbacks of plastic bags outweigh consumer convenience, the LA City Council voted 9-1 to require stores that make over $2 million a year or occupy retail space measuring more than 10,000 square feet to phase out plastic bags by Jan. 1. That’s pharmacies, food markets and any large store (including Target and Wal-Mart ) that has a grocery section. Smaller stores will have until July 1, 2014. Businesses failing to comply with the law will face a daily fine of $100 for  the first violation, $200 after the second and $500 after the third, each day  each day the violation continues.

Sanitation officials estimate that 2 billion plastic bags are distributed in the city each year so that’s a sweeping victory for environmental activists. Once the ban goes into effect, around 25% of California’s population will be covered by laws moving consumers toward reusable bags.

Arguments from those against the project:

  • Some local businesses may have more than 50% of their activities centered around making grocery plastic bags used in LA and near by towns
  • There would be a new burden on consumers reusing plastic bags for trash and pet waste: they may be tempted to shop where the ban is not in effect

Arguments from those in favor of the ban:

  • It will create jobs (Green Vets LA among others) to manufacture reusable bags
  • It will help with pollution of waterways and public spaces
  •  LA is a trendsetter, that might send a strong signal to Sacramento and the rest of the country that we need a national policy

Check out the full article at: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-plastic-bags-20130618,0,6576624.story

Credit photo: mhstrailblazer.com
* Up for some thought-sharing on this topic?  

The biggest city in the nation tackling the single-use bag addiction has already inspired others: Chicago has introduced a similar measure and New York City may plan to introduce a proposal this summer.

  • Would you welcome a plastic bags ban in YOUR city?
  • How would it change your grocery and plastic bag reusing routines, if any?

Let us know… 


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