Shoppers in the city will have to bring their own reusable grocery bags or pay ten cents per paper bag.
Alex Kane / Alternet
The city of Los Angeles is starting the new year out with a ban–a ban on plastic bags.
On January 1, a new law kicks in that prohibits large grocery stores from packing up items into plastic bags, as the Los Angeles Times notes. The law makes LA the largest city to have such a ban.
So when Los Angeles shoppers go to big stores in 2014, they either have to bring their own reusable grocery bags or pay ten cents per paper bag. Smaller groceries and liquor stores will have to comply with the ban beginning July 1.
The impetus for the ban was environmental concerns, despite lobbying from bag manufacturers. Plastic bags usually find their way to city streets and then to the ocean, where they threaten fish and other wildlife.
In recent months, LA officials and environmental groups have passed out hundreds of thousands of reusable bags to residents.
“This is huge step,” Sarah Sikich, science and policy director for Heal the Bay, told the Los Angeles Times. “It really sends a message to other places, both nationally and beyond. Now Chicago and New York are looking at similar policies for their communities.”
Need reusable bags? Look up do It Yourself fringed t shirt bags. With a pair of scissors you can repurpose an old t shirt and make your own bag. Cool, green and absolutely free. I have one and it’s one of my favorite grocery bags. If you sew you can skip the fringe step and make your bag in about 4 minutes.
John Lawrence says
Banning plastic bags is on the San Diego City Council’s agenda as well. Let’s keep after them till they do it. It’s the first step on the city’s Climate Action Plan. As such it will be a harbinger of things to come one way or the other.