Happy plastic bag-free New Year!

The City of Los Angeles plastic bag ban is official! (sign at Albertson’s)

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.”

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