Plastic Bag Ban Passes LA City Council

The county of Los Angeles and some cities in California already have plastic bag bans

Los Angeles moved one step closer Tuesday to becoming the latest California city to ban single-use plastic bags.

The City Council voted 11-1 to tentatively approve a plan to phase out single-use plastic bags that includes a 10-cent charge for paper bags and regulations regarding the types of permitted reusable bags.

Plastic Bag Ordinance: Final Environmental Impact Report

The plan would prohibit stores that sell perishable food from handing out plastic grocery bags. Stores would be required to charge customers 10 cents for using a recyclable paper bag.

Another vote to finalize the ban could happen as early as next week.

The county of Los Angeles and some cities in California, such as San Francisco and Santa Monica, already have plastic bag bans. A 2010 state Assembly bill that would have banned plastic bags and created standards for reusable bags, but the that legislation was defeated in the Senate.

The ban would go into effect Jan. 1 for large stores that make more than $2 million per year or occupy retail space measuring more than 10,000 square feet. For smaller stores, the ban would go into effect July 1, 2014.

Supporters say the ban will keep the plastic bags off beaches and out of storm drains. Ban opponents say it will lead to job losses. 

The city's environmental impact report states that an estimated 2 billion single-use plastic bags are used in Los Angeles each year, and that most become litter or collect in landfills.

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