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Los Angeles poised to bin plastic bags for good

June 20, 2013

Los Angeles poised to bin plastic bags for good

Los Angeles is on the brink of becoming the largest city in the US to ban plastic grocery bags, which officials say will prevent about two million single-use bags being distributed next year. The City Council backed the plan in a 11-1 vote earlier this week, but a unanimous verdict will be needed in a subsequent vote next week to enact the ruling. City authorities estimate two billion plastic bags are distributed across LA every year, many of which end up clogging gutters and polluting beaches.

The ban would apply to large stores from the beginning of next year and extend to smaller stores in July 2014. Stores would be prohibited from handing out single-use bags or face fines ranging from $100 to $500 for violations. Customers, meanwhile, will either have to bring their own bags or pay 10 cents for each paper bag requested. The charge will be used to offset any additional costs stores have in making the switch, with the remainder of the funds likely to be put towards public education programs.

In Europe, charges on plastic bags have been successfully implemented in Northern Ireland and Wales, while Italy is attempting to overcome opposition from the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands to become the first EU member state to impose an outright national ban.

Read more at BusinessGreen.

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