Plastic bag ban Los Angeles

11/18/2013 2:36 pm1 commentViews: 52

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Los Angeles city officials today announced an effort
to educate Angelenos on the plastic bag ban going into effect at large
grocery and drug stores on Jan. 1, and at smaller, mom-and-pop stores six
months later.
As part of the

``Bring Your Own Bag'' Photo by Gary McCarthy

“Bring Your Own Bag”
Photo by Gary McCarthy

campaign, stores will display
placards warning shoppers of the impending ban — involving Ralphs, Vons,
Albertsons and Wal-Mart, among others — and reminding customers to bring
reusable bags when they shop.
Drug stores like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens, and convenience stores
like 7-Eleven, will also need to stop using plastic bags by Jan. 1.
Customers will be charged 10 cents each for paper bags.
The ban goes into effect July 1 for smaller, independent grocery stores,
drug stores and convenience food-marts.
Plastic bags will still be allowed at restaurants and department stores.

Paul Koretz  cleans up plastic bag from the south steps of Los Angeles city hall. Photo by Gary McCarthy

Paul Koretz cleans up plastic bag from the south steps of Los Angeles city hall.
Photo by Gary McCarthy

The thin plastic sacks used for produce and meat are also exempt from the ban.
In addition to the outreach campaign, city leaders today announced “The
LA Epic Reusable Bag Giveaway,” a program to make and give out reusable bags
in low-income neighborhoods.
A call was put out for sponsors to help fund the giveaway program, which
will employ veterans from the group Green Vets LA to sew the bags and Homeboy
Industries, an organization that helps at-risk or gang-involved youth, to do
the silkscreening. Environmental groups will distribute the bags.
The city also made a pledge to give out 100,000 free reusable bags in
each of the 15 City Council districts.
The council approved the ban earlier this year. In June, former Los
Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed the ban into law, making Los Angeles
the most populous city in the nation to ban single-use plastic bags.
The law is similar to one adopted by Los Angeles County. Other cities in
California, including San Francisco and Santa Monica, have adopted plastic
bag bans.
A statewide ban proposed by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, a former
Los Angeles city councilman, was defeated in May.
Activists from environmental organizations such as Heal the Bay say a
ban on the non-biodegradable plastic bags will lead to cleaner beaches, storm
drains, rivers and other public spaces. Representatives of plastics companies
counter that it will cost jobs, while others contend reusable bags are prone to
germs and pose a health risk.
The local ban takes effect Jan. 1 for stores that gross more than $2
million a year or are housed in a retail space that is 10,000 square feet or
larger. Starting July 1, the ban will include liquor stores, and independent
markets that carry limited groceries but have staples such as milk and bread.
Proceeds from the 10-cent charge for recyclable paper bags will be kept
by stores and used only to recoup the costs of the bags and comply with the
city ban. It also will pay for materials to promote reusable bags.
Stores will be required to file quarterly reports on the number of paper
bags given out, how much money the store receives for those bags and efforts
to promote reusable bags.
To help ease the transition, the city plans to hand out about 1 million
reusable bags in low-income areas. Participants of SNAP, WIC and EBT programs
will get reusable bags or recyclable paper bags free-of-charge.
The city currently spends about $2 million annually cleaning up plastic
bag litter.

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