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Los Angeles Largest U.S. City to Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags

Common Dreams staff

Los Angeles has become the biggest city in the U.S. to enact a ban on single-use plastic bags.

Plastic Bag / Ramin Bahrani

The Los Angeles City Council passed the measure Wednesday by an overwhelming 13-1 vote.

A fraction -- only about 5% -- of the over two million plastic bags used in Los Angeles are recycled.

Writing in NRDC's Switchboard blog, Adrian Martinez states that this is a "landmark step toward protection of our environment and important for the legacy for future generations."

Hoping the measure was only the start of environmental awareness, Councilman Richard Alarcon said, "Let's not stop with plastic bags."

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MSNBC: LA becomes largest US city to ban single-use plastic bags

Withstanding a strong lobby from the plastic bag industry, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a ban on single-use plastic bags at checkout counters as well as a 10-cent fee on paper bags.

With a population of 4 million -- and using an estimated 2.7 billion plastic bags each year -- Los Angeles becomes the largest city in the U.S. to enact a ban and joins 47 other cities in California alone.

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Adrian Martinez on NRDC's Switchboard blog:
Disposable plastic bag ban passes LA City Council

.... The framework includes a six month educational period of the ordinance where no ban is in place. After that initial six months, larger stores must phase out single use plastic bags. Twelve months after adoption of the final ordinance, small stores will also ban these bags. For paper bags, retailers will be required to charge 10 cents per bag starting one year from today. In two years, a study will assess whether to ban outright paper bags as well. The City Council still needs to approve a final ordinance, including analyzing the environmental impacts of this policy, but it is my understanding that this will happen quickly.

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