Yesterday was the first day of the New Year and the first day of the City of Los Angeles plastic bag ban. What a thrilling way to start 2014. Hooray, hooray!
I actually thought the plastic bag ban didn’t start until July 1, 2014, but then I started seeing signs…as in real signs, not omens. In early December, I saw the first sign posted at Albertson’s during checkout, but I thought they made a mistake because that was the only store with any information available. Then in a couple of weeks I saw a sign at CVS, then Rite Aid and Whole Foods. And last but not least, Trader Joe’s posted signs. “Wow, the plastic bag ban is really here,” I thought.
Today was the first day I got to experience the plastic bag ban firsthand. I stopped in at Rite Aid to pick up a couple of things and took my turn waiting in line. An elderly gentleman in front of me was checking out. The sales associate explained that if he wanted a bag he would have to pay 10 cents.
At first he seemed really annoyed and made a comment, “Geez, now we have to pay for bags too?” But then the checkout lady explained it was part of the city’s plastic bag ban. And then he had a revelation, “Oh, to get rid of plastic bags! Well, I’d still like a bag even if it costs 10 cents.” He left the store with a paper bag in tow and didn’t seem too upset.
The plastic bag ban will definitely take some getting used to, but any inconvenience is well-worth the amount of plastic being removed from the environment. Hopefully, all wildlife in Los Angeles will have a much better 2014. And I’m looking forward to doing a little jig every time someone asks me if I’d like a bag for 10 cents. If I manage to forget my reusable totes in the car, I’ll rejoice and say “Hallelujah! I’ll gladly pay 10 cents for a paper bag.”