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L.A. set to enact plastic bag ban

Los Angeles has become the largest city in America to pass a ban on plastic bags, joining Seattle and San Francisco, among other major cities, to enact such law.


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May 28, 2012 by Canadian Plastics

Los Angeles has become the largest city in America to pass a ban on plastic bags, joining Seattle and San Francisco, among other major cities, to enact such law.

Following a 13 to 1 vote in the Los Angeles City Council on May 23, the city will become the largest U.S. metropolis to enact a ban on plastic bags and add a 10-cent fee for each paper bag sold. Under the measure, the ban will undergo a four-month environmental study and then a final vote and signature from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

The ban is set to go into effect July 1, with the estimated number of 2.7 billion plastic bags saved annually from being thrown out. Large and small stores alike will have 12 months to phase out the use of plastic bags with the exemption of plastic bags used in the produce department of supermarkets. Plastic garbage bags for trash bins and dog waste will still be legal.

Los Angeles joins San Francisco, San Jose, and Long Beach as California cities that have enacted a ban on plastic bags. Seattle City County also passed the same ban last December with the same tentative date of July 1 for the rules to go into regulation. Last week, Hawaii announced that it will be the first state to entirely ban plastic bags by July 2015.

The lone vote against the Los Angeles plastic bag ban comes from Councilman Bernard Parks who worried about food safety with using paper bags if consumers forget to bring their own reusable tote. “What concerns me is, a few years ago we told people to stop using paper bags so we could save the trees,” Parks told local media outlets. “And the plastics industry came in with their bags. Now we’re telling people not to use plastic bags. What I wonder is, if we are trading environmental problems for health problems.”


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