LA County Passes Biggest Plastic Bag Ban in US


Photo: Samuel Mann, Flickr/CC BY

It's likely to be the largest plastic bag ban to hit the US yet -- enacted in parts of the sprawling LA county, disposable, single-use bags will now be off limits to 1.1 million people. In addition, paper bags will now cost 10 cents a pop for shoppers -- providing yet another incentive for southern Californians to start adopting reusable bags. Just to be clear, the ban was only passed in certain areas of the county -- the unincorporated parts outside of the 88 major cities. Los Angeles proper will remain unaffected by the ban. Still, slashing plastic bag demand by 1.1 million people will have an enormous impact. The AP has the details:

County supervisors approved the measure 3-1 on Tuesday in hopes of preventing billions of bags from polluting neighborhoods and waterways. It bans stores from giving customers single-use plastic bags and would require them to charge 10 cents for each paper bag.

The vote was especially meaningful for Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, who tried and failed to pass a statewide ban in August. Brownley has been an outspoken critic of the use of plastic bags, saying only a very small percentage are recycled and that they take hundreds of years to decompose. "This is just the beginning of a wave of bans against single-use plastic bags across California," Brownley said.

And it will indeed have a significant impact -- Washington DC's plastic bag tax, for instance, did away with tens of millions of bags a month. The numbers in LA County should be even more impressive. Needless to say, it's a lot of saved oil and a lot of plastic waste spared from the landfill.

The ban will go into effect next year.

More on Plastic Bag Bans
As U.S. Cities Waver on Plastic Bag Tax, China's Bag Ban Saved 1.6 Tons of Oil
San Francisco Moves to Expand the Plastic Bag Ban
Plastic Bag Bans Sweep Cities Across Nation

Tags: California | Consumerism | United States