Los Angeles Makes the Switch to Reusable Bags

Los Angeles Makes the Switch to Reusable Bags

Los Angeles, CA, June 25, 2013 (PBBR) - The City of Los Angeles, California made the switch to reusable bags today. After the second reading, City Council passed the ordinance by a vote of 9-1 with five council members absent.

The ordinance regulates the use of both paper and plastic single-use carryout bags and promotes the use of reusable bags. According to the ordinance, no store shall provide a plastic or paper single-use carryout bag to a customer.

What a store is permitted to provide is reusable bags or recyclable paper single-use carryout bags. The store must charge a fee of ten cents for each recyclable paper bag requested by the customer.

The law does not prohibit customers from using any type bag that they bring in themselves. Customers may also carry out their purchases with no bag.

Furthermore, the ordinance mandates that stores provide reusable bags. The retailer may choose to charge for the bags or give them away.

The switch to reusable bags has been in the works for several years by the City Council. The Council first made the decision to ban plastic bags in May, 2012 but has taken a year to finalize the ordinance.

Each store must promote reusable bags. The monies collected from the ten cents charge will be kept by the store but may use the monies only for the following:

  1. Costs associated with compliance of the ordinance
  2. Actual cost of providing Recyclable Paper Single-Use Carryout Bags
  3. Costs associated with a store's educational material and campaign to promote the use of reusable bags

Each quarter, the retailer must submit a report to the Dept. of Public Works summarizing the store's efforts to promote the use of reusable bags. All store's are urged to post signs encouraging customers to use and maintain reusable bags.

The law becomes effective August 1st of this year but will not be enforced until January 1, 2014.

According to wikipedia, the City of Los Angeles has the third largest economy in the world. By making the switch to reusable bags, the Council just eliminated 2.3 billion plastic bags.

Only time will tell, but the L.A. City Council's decision is no doubt a turning point in making single-use plastic bags a relic of the past. This ordinance is a huge win for our oceans, marine life and sea birds. It will undoubtedly lead to plastic bag regulations in other cities of the same magnitude, many of which are already on the horizon.

Someday, in just a few years, Plastic Bag Ban Report will be obsolete!

Read the Los Angeles Reusable Bag Ordinance

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Cover photo: Reusable Bag. Author: N. Mark Roberts. I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide.