California's Los Angeles (LA) County enacted a ban on single-use plastic bags on Tuesday, November 16, 2010. The Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 to adopt the ordinance.
The ban prohibits retailers from giving away plastic carry-out bags for customers to take home their purchases. The ordinance also imposes a 10 cent fee on recyclable paper carry-out bags.
The plastic bag ban ordinance could actually be called a "Reusable Bag Ordinance". The language of the ordinance, in several places, promotes the use of reusable bags. In fact, it requires the store to provide a reusable bag to the customer - either free or for a fee.
This is a "first". I haven't seen any plastic bag ban that requires the retailer to provide a reusable bag. Furthermore, each store is strongly encouraged to educate its staff to promote reusable bags and to post signs encouraging customers to use reusable bags. Read The Ordinance.
Incorporated as the County of Los Angeles and governed by a Board of Supervisors, LA County is the most populous county in the United States with over 10 million citizens. It becomes the most populous region in the United States to adopt a plastic bag ban. San Jose, California, who adopted a ban pending the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), is the 10th largest city in the U. S. with a population nearing one million people. LA County far surpasses that.
There are 88 municipalities located within the county. Four rivers flow through the county headed to the ocean, taking along tons of trash and plastic bags.
LA County's Plastic Bag Ban applies only to the unincorporated areas of the County. However, the County is encouraging the cities located in the county to adopt their own plastic bag ordinances.