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Los Angeles plastic-bag ban tentatively approved

June 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday tentatively approved a ban on single-use plastic bags. Another vote to finalize the ban has been scheduled for next week.

The council voted 11-to-1 for the law, which would prohibit stores from handing out plastic grocery bags. There would also be fines for violating the ban.

The law, which is expected to pass, would take effect next year. Large retailers will have about six months to phase out the plastic bags, and smaller retailers will have a year.

Last May, the council voted 13-1 to move forward the ordinance banning single-use plastic bags. The measure then went through an environmental review.

If the ordinance is set, Los Angeles will become the largest city in the nation to ban plastic bags. While the move has a lot of support, there are also plenty of people against it. The American Progressive Bag Alliance, which represents people who manufacture plastic bags, says hundreds of people who work in the industry are now going to lose their jobs.

"At a time when we should be creating more manufacturing jobs, this ban takes them away, while pushing people to imported reusable bags, which are a less-environmentally friendly option," the group said in a statement.

The ban is a watered-down version of the original rule. It does not include a ban on paper bags. Instead, stores will be charging 10 cents per paper bag.

The ban is similar to programs adopted by cities like Long Beach, Calabasas, Santa Monica, Pasadena and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. L.A. County reports that its ban has led to a 94-percent drop in the use of single-use bags like plastic bags.


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