West Hollywood Sacks Single-Use Plastic Bags

The prohibition goes into effect Wednesday

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    Forgetting your reusable shopping bags while patronizing large West Hollywood stores will cost you starting Wednesday, as the city joins a growing list of Southland municipalities that have banned single-use plastic grocery bags.

    The prohibition will affect pharmacy, grocery and retail stores that are at least 10,000 square feet -- which includes the West Hollywood locations of Target, Whole Foods and Ralphs.

    Smaller retailers have until Aug. 20 to comply with the ban.

    Customers will have to provide their own reusable bags at affected stores, which are encouraged to make the reusable bags available for purchase. Or, for 10 ten cents each, customers can buy paper bags made from at least 40 percent recycled material.

    That fee won’t apply to customers who qualify for subsidized groceries, according to the city’s website.

    Drycleaners, restaurants and farmers markets will be allowed to continue using single-use plastic bags. And customers are still allowed to use light-weight, handle-less plastic bags at grocery stores to carry produce and raw meat.

    The West Hollywood City Council voted in August 2012 to nix single-use plastic bags from stores within the city limits, an effort aimed at reducing waste and litter which often makes its way into the ocean.

    The city of 34,000 joins Los Angeles County, Malibu, Santa Monica and Long Beach in outlawing the bags.

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