Time to stock up on your canvas totes. After years of debating, a plastic bag ban written by Councilman Paul Koretz is well on its way to being enforced. On Tuesday, June 18th the Los Angeles City Council voted to approve the ban with a vote of 11:1. Due to the fact that the vote was not unanimous, the council voted again this week and on Wednesday, June 26th, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed into law a ban on giving out free plastic bags in Los Angeles grocery stores. The historic ban signed Wednesday makes Los Angeles the biggest city in the country to ban the bags. The ordinance will ban single use plastic shopping bags in Los Angeles. Stores will still be permitted to provide paper bags but now they will cost ten cents apiece. Santa Monica based environmental group, Heal the Bay, has been an active voice in helping the ordinance pass.
“We faced intense lobbying from the plastics industry, but citizens’ voices were heard today in the effort to keep neighborhoods and waterways free of plastic blight.” wrote Heal the Bay Acting Executive Director, Alix Hobbs. “Switching to reusable bags will benefit our local economy, create green jobs and save taxpayer money spent on pollution cleanup.”
The plastic bag ban will go into effect on January 1, 2014 for large stores and then six months later for smaller stores.