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Awareness Magazine
5753-G Santa Ana Canyon Rd. #582
Anaheim, CA 92807
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L. A. City Council Finalizes Ban on Plastic Bags

City becomes biggest municipality in U.S.

to enact curbs on single-use bags

By Matthew King


On June 18, the Los Angeles City Council today finalized a sweeping ban on the distribution of single-use, plastic shopping bags at grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies and other select retail stores that sell some perishable items within city limits.

Los Angeles is now the largest city in the U.S. to ban single-use plastic bags. Under the ordinance, the city took a phased–in approach for curbing the environmental and fiscal waste associated with the distribution, collection and disposal of single-use bags.

With a historic vote, one in four Californians now live in a city that has enacted curbs against single-use bags. Seventy-six state municipalities are covered by ordinances banning plastic single-use bags and most also deter paper single-use bags. Dozens more are considering banning plastic bags in the near future.

The ordinance goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014 for the large stores, and July 1, 2014, for the smaller stores, thereby allowing the city’s 4 million residents to gradually transition into the practice of bringing reusable shopping bags to local retailers. These effective dates will also allow retailers to get rid of their inventory and prepare for compliance with the ordinance.

Nearly 2 billion single-use plastic bags and 400 million paper bags are distributed annually in Los Angeles, according to city officials.

Environmental group Heal the Bay has led the legislative fight to enact a bag ban for more than six years as part of its ongoing efforts to tackle plastic pollution throughout Southern California.

”Our city became a model for our state and the rest of the nation,” said Kirsten James, Heal the Bay’s Science and Policy Director for water quality. “The vote further emphasizes that the time has come for us to move past the wasteful convenience of a plastic bag to sustainable, reusable bags.

For more information and how to get involved in Heal the Bay’s work, visit: healthebay.org