Plastic-bag ban finalized by LA City Council


The council voted 9-to-1 in favor of the ban, making Los Angeles the largest city in the country to eliminate single-use plastic grocery bags. Bernard Parks was the dissenting vote.

The new law will take effect January for large stores and July of next year for smaller stores. It will require customers to either use their own reusable bags when shopping or pay 10 cents per paper bag at the store.

Supporters have argued that a plastic bag ban will lead to cleaner beaches, storm drains, rivers and other public spaces where the non-biodegradable bags can end up.

Opponents of the ordinance, including representatives from plastics companies, have said that the ban will cost jobs and inconvenience shoppers. Others have said that reusable bags are more likely to gather germs and pose a health risk than plastic ones.

The 10-cent charge for paper bags will stay with stores so they can recover the costs of those bags and conform to the new ban. The stores will also be required to file reports every three months about the number of paper bags given out and how much money is made from them.

The city plans to give away about a million reusable bags to people in low-income areas. Women who receive benefits from the Women, Infants and Children program are exempted from the ban.

Other cities in California have adopted plastic bag bans, including San Francisco and Santa Monica. A statewide ban was proposed earlier this year but was defeated in May.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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