Government Law

LA County Bans Plastic Bags, Imposes 10-Cent Surcharge on Paper Grocery Sacks

In an effort to encourage shoppers to bring reusable bags from home, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors yesterday banned disposable plastic grocery bags and imposed a 10-cent surcharge on paper grocery sacks, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The plastic bag ban is expected to affect over 1 million people and some 1,000 stores in unincorporated areas of the county, although shoppers in major cities such as Los Angeles can continue to use environmentally incorrect disposable bags.

“Plastic bags are a pollutant. They pollute the urban landscape. They are what we call in our county urban tumbleweed,” said Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

However, they don’t just litter; they also pose a potentially lethal threat to wildlife, if they are swept into the county’s storm drain system and out to sea, he added.

Opponents to the ordinance said it is likely to impose a hardship on mom-and-pop stores already struggling to deal with a difficult economy.

A recent effort by environmentalists to enact a statewide plastic bag ban was unsuccessful.

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