In a historic vote Wednesday, the L.A. City Council voted overwhelmingly to enact a ban on plastic bags -- becoming the largest city in the United States to push towards more eco-friendly alternatives.
Under the measure, passed by a 13 to 1 vote, stores throughout L.A. will be required to phase out the bags by the end of the year, significantly reducing the amount of landfill fodder and environmental pollutants produced annually. Once in effect, the ban is set to keep the whopping 2.7 billion plastic bags used each year from ending up in the trash -- or worse, littering the city's streets and waterways.
"This day has been a long time in coming," says councilman Paul Koretz, an early supporter of the ban. "This is a historic vote making Los Angeles the biggest city in the nation in doing away with an environmental problem."
In approving the ban, L.A. becomes the 48th city in California to do away with the bags; recent years has seen other major cities, such as San Francisco, San Jose and Long Beach, ditching the rather antiquated plastic sacks. Still, Koretz suspects that his city's new ban will help encourage other municipalities across the nation to do the same.
"This is a tipping point."