Plastic-bag ban begins New Year's Day in Los Angeles


L.A.'s single-use carryout bag ordinance means large grocers, drug stores, even "big box" stores will no longer offer plastic bags for purchases. The ordinance passed in June to give shoppers time to get ready.

So far, stores in L.A. have doled out a half-a-million reusable bags, with 50,000 more to be given away in select areas.

Some grocery stores, like Vons, have them at select locations until January 11 or when supplies run out.

If you forget yours, a paper bag will cost you 10 cents.

With many people reusing bags, there is concern over the spread of food-borne illness. Bacteria thrive on food, moisture and heat, so be sure to wash reusable cloth bags.

It's recommended to have one set of bags just for perishables.

"Definitely designate bags for dairy and produce and meat, but if you do use any bag for meat you have to wash it after every re-use or you can contaminate all of your other purchases," said Erin Grande, sales manager at SmarterBags.

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