L.A. Becomes Largest U.S. City to Ban Plastic Bags

May 24, 2012

Los Angeles becomes largest U.S. city to place ban on plastic bags at checkout linesFirst Hawaii makes headlines for putting a ban on plastic bags, now Los Angeles is celebrating one of its greatest eco-friendly accomplishments in regards to plastic bags.

Yesterday, L.A. made history by becoming the largest city in the United States to put a ban on plastic bags at grocery store checkout lines. “The City Council voted 13 to 1 to phase out plastic bags over the next 16 months at an estimated 7,500 stores, meaning shoppers will need to bring reusable bags or purchase paper bags for 10 cents each,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

For years, L.A. has fought to place such a ban to reduce trash in landfills, local waters and oceans. Now, it’s come to life, which is wonderful since it is estimated just Californians alone use 12 billion plastic bags a year. In addition, less than 5 percent of the state’s plastic bags are recycled.

Larger stores in the area will have six months to cut out plastic bags, once the ban is officially passed, while smaller businesses have 12 months. Some may not think charging 10 cents per bag will cut down on use of plastic, but according to Jennie R. Romer, founder of www.plasticbaglaws.org, says there has been a 94 percent reduction use of plastic bags in Los Angeles County.

L.A. isn’t the only city in California to place such a ban. It joins San Jose, San Francisco and Long Beach.

Los Angeles becomes largest U.S. city to place ban on plastic bagsIn addition to lawmakers and environmentalists, celebrities are also rejoicing and basking in the glory of the news. Here’s what a few had to say on Twitter.

Amy Smart tweeted even before the ban was official, “They are about to vote here at the LA city council #BantheBagLA!!! Cross your fingers, will keep u updated!”

Rosario Dawson also got in on the fun by posting, “#historicday ‘@EnvCalifornia: HUGE THANKS to each of you for helping to pass today’s historic plastic bag ban in L.A.!!!’”

“Once Upon a Time” star Ginnifer Goodwin tweeted her excitement as well, “LA just made history! We are now the largest city in the US to have banned single use plastic bags! ‪#banthebagla‬ ‪#BravoLACityCouncil‬!

Which U.S. city do you think will be next to follow in L.A.’s footsteps?

Photo Credit: Flickr/Newton Grafitti, Wikimedia Commons/Joe Mabel