On Wednesday, January 8, large grocery stores in Los Angeles will stop providing disposable plastic bags to customers.
The Los Angeles City Council passed a new law in June that prohibits grocery stores from providing the plastic bags that many customers have grown accustomed to. The council cited the reasoning behind the new law as concerns for the fish and wildlife when the bags make their way into the oceans. With the council’s vote, Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to ban plastic bags.
Now, customers must bring their own reusable bags with them when they are grocery shopping. If they choose not to bring their own, the customers must pay ten cents per paper bag from the store. Since the law was passed, the Los Angeles city officials have teamed with different environmental groups to provide thousands of reusable bags to customers for free. Smaller grocery stores, including liquor stores, will be subject to the ban starting July 1, 2014.
“This is huge step,” said Sarah Sikich, the science and policy director for Heal the Bay. “It really sends a message to other places, both nationally and beyond. Now Chicago and New York are looking at similar policies for their communities.”
Los Angeles is not the only city that is implementing a similar policy. Santa Fe’s ban will be effective starting on February 27, 2014.
Image via Wikimedia Commons