Los Angeles bans plastic shopping bags
The Los Angeles city council has unanimously approved a ban on plastic shopping bags in stores throughout the city, hoping to reduce plastic waste by encouraging shoppers to bring their own bags in one of the capitals of American consumerism, dpa reported.
The ban will go into effect in 2010, unless the state imposes a mandatory 25-cent fee on shoppers requesting plastic bags. The city council passed the ban Tuesday night.
"We've gotten to a point where we need to act as a city, where we can have real results," said Councilman Ed Reyes, who proposed the bag ban. "We're trying to do it in a way where we can educate and inform the public of what we're doing."
Los Angeles City officials estimate that Los Angeles consumers use 2.3 billion plastic bags each year, but only an estimated 5 per cent of those bags are recycled. The rest end up in rubbish dumps, clog the city's drains or wash into the ocean or rivers where they can choke and kill wildlife.
"This is a major moment for our city, to bite the bullet and go with something that is more ecologically sensitive than what we've ever done before," said Councilman Bill Rosendahl.