As of July 1, 2014, the single-use plastic bag ban ordinance will expand to include small grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, and liquor stores. The single-use plastic bag ban ordinance first went into effect on January 1, 2014 for large grocery stores. Residents can avoid a fee of $0.10 per paper bag used by carrying their own reusable bags when shopping. Los Angeles Sanitation will continue to distribute free reusable bags throughout the city as residents get accustomed to the expansion of the ordinance.
Single-use plastic bags are harmful to the environment ÔÇô they linger in trees and bushes, drift down streets, and pollute waters. Each year Californians use over 19 million single-use plastic bags, with two million of those bags being used in Los Angeles. The ordinance banning single-use plastic bags passed in June 2013 and was designed to significantly decrease that number. The average plastic bag is estimated to take 1,000 years to break down, if at all. "This new ordinance is a step in the right direction toward changing behavior to protect our environment and our city," stated Enrique C. Zaldivar, Executive Director for Los Angeles Sanitation.
Plastic bags are still permitted in hardware stores, clothing stores, etc. Pharmacies and grocery stores may continue to provide pharmacy and produce bags at no charge to consumers. Additionally, participants of California Special Programs such as WIC, SNAP, and EBT will not be charged for paper bags. For more information about the single-use plastic bag ban or to read the ordinance, please visit www.lacitybag.com.