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Jan-21-2014 14:21printcomments

Los Angeles: Nation's Largest Metropolis With a Plastic Bag Ban

LA takes big steps to curb plastic bag use, includes brand new cartoon by Los Angeles artist, Shelli Pruett.

Los Angeles City Hall
Photo by Tim King

(LOS ANGELES) - A new law banning single-use plastic bags in Los Angeles, passed with a 9-1 city council vote, went into effect on the first of January. Los Angeles is the most populous city in the U.S. to enact an ordinance ending this business practice which is called highly wasteful by environmental groups. It will take some getting used to, but the ban does closely mirror the ordinance adopted by unincorporated L.A. County in 2011, reports

Photo by Tim King

LACityBag explains that recyclable paper bags will be offered at a cost of $0.10 per bag. They encourage shoppers to use their own reusable bag to carry out groceries.

Reusable bags can be purchased at select retail stores and markets. They are also being distributed by LA Sanitation through city-sponsored events and locations. They are made available on a first come, first served basis and provided at no cost while supplies last.

The ban applies to plastic carryout bags made predominantly of plastic that is derived from either petroleum or a biologically-based sources, such as corn or other plant sources. The ban includes compostable and biodegradable bags.

As Americans watch the deterioration of their environment transform once pristine places into sweltering trash dumps, this city is doing something about it. The City of Angels is one of the smoggiest places on earth, but due to forward thinking, they are showing the rest of the country that steps can be taken to reduce the massive waste problem that exists worldwide. California once again, is taking the lead role in effecting change.

The ban affects large stores with more than $2 million in gross annual revenue, and stores housed in a building that is 10,000 square feet or larger. Smaller stores will see the ban implemented six months after the effective date.

Independent markets and liquor stores that carry groceries but offer staples like milk and bread will be affected starting July 1, 2014.

Original artwork by Shelli Pruett, author of Quantum Leap Cartoons, featured at



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