Thank you for the plastic grocery bag ban Los Angeles!

Plastic bag flying in the breeze

As I was busy spending time with my parents who were visiting last week, an amazing thing happened: On June 26, 2013, outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed into law a plastic bag ban for the City of Los Angeles.

At first I was confused because I thought the plastic bag ban had already passed last year; I even wrote a post about it. Based on comments on Facebook and else where on the internet, I wasn’t alone in thinking it was already a done deal.

Apparently, last summer the Los Angeles City Council voted “to draft an ordinance” that would ban single-use plastic bags. And since this is government, the City also had to prepare environmental reports to fulfill requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act.

So now, a full year later, the ordinance has been drafted, the environmental reports filed and the plastic bag ban signed into law. This makes Los Angeles the largest city in the country to ban plastic bags!

But we have to wait a bit longer because the plastic bag ban doesn’t go into effect until January 2014. Here’s the low down from the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation website:

  • The ban applies to stores selling dry groceries, canned goods and perishable items including large stores such as Ralphs, Target and Walmart and small stores such as 7-Eleven and AM PM Mini Markets.
  • The law becomes effective January 1, 2014 for large retailers and July 1, 2014 for small retailers.
  • A 10 cent fee will be charged to customers requesting a paper carryout bag.
  • The city plans on passing out 1 million reusable bags in low-income areas to address concerns that some people may not be able to afford buying reusable or paper bags.
  • The city suggests that people be creative and use bread or chip bags, sandwich bags, cereal box liners and other types of bags as an alternative for wet waste and pet droppings.

Overall, this is very exciting and I’m proud to be living in a city that banned plastic grocery bags. Thank you Los Angeles!

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