At the top of the new year, supermarkets and large grocers stopped providing free plastic bags to customers in an effort to reduce the negative and harmful impact plastic bags have on landfills, waterways, the ocean and marine life. Los Angeles is the largest city in the U.S. to ban plastic bags.
As a result of the plastic bag ban, customers can request a paper bag for a 10-cent fee per bag, purchase a reusable bag or bring their own reusable bag.
"We use 19 billion plastic bags in California every year, and it takes 1,000 years for a bag to decompose, if at all," stated sanitation director Enrique C. Zaldivar of the City of Los Angeles. "The new ordinance is a step in the right direction toward changing behavior for a more positive impact on our environment and our city as a whole."
Customers have many choices when carrying out goods from stores. In addition to utilizing reusable bags, customers may use their own boxes, baskets and buckets. They may also carry out their paid purchases by hand or load them back into the shopping cart for transport and unloading at their car.
Effective July 1, 2014, small grocers and convenience stores will also stop providing free plastic bags.
However, not all plastic bags are banned. The following bags are allowed:
‘«ů Produce bags used for bagging vegetables, fruits and meats, and pharmacy bags;
‘«ů Restaurant bags;
‘«ů Hardware stores bags (e.g. Home Depot, Lowes, etc.); and
‘«ů Select retail stores bags (e.g. Macy's, JC Penny, Ross, TJ Maxx, etc.).
For more information, please visit http://lacitybag.com and discover tips such as using bread or chip bags as an alternative for wet waste and pet droppings.