May 24th, 2012
LA becomes the largest city in the nation to put a ban on plastic bags at supermarkets! The City Council voted 13-1 to phase out plastic bags over the next 16 months at an estimated 7,500 stores. This means shoppers will need to bring reusable bags or purchase paper bags for 10 cents each. The ban came after years of campaigning by clean-water advocates who said it would reduce the amount of trash in landfills, as well as the region’s waterways and the ocean. They estimate that Californians use 12 billion plastic bags a year and that less than 5% of the state’s plastic bags are recycled.
Council members in Los Angeles were egged on Wednesday by actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and an array of environmental groups. As they prepared to approve the ban, city lawmakers called on their counterparts in Sacramento to follow suit. “Let’s get the message to Sacramento that it’s time to go statewide,” said Councilman Ed Reyes, who is pushing an effort to revitalize the Los Angeles River.The council’s decision kicks off a four-month environmental review, followed by what is expected to be routine passage of an ordinance enacting the ban.