Los Angeles passes law to ban plastic bags in grocery stores

Written By: Thatcher Michelsen May 23, 2012 0
Plastic bags often end up in landfills, as many Americans aren't very vigilant when it comes to recycling.
Plastic bags often end up in landfills, as many Americans aren't very vigilant when it comes to recycling.

There are a lot of mixed feelings when it comes to the use of plastic bags in America. Some have argued that if recycled properly, plastic grocery bags aren't detrimental for the environment at all as long as they don't end up in landfills. But, the majority opinion of green advocates seems to be that people and businesses can't be trusted to be responsible with plastic bags, as they will likely just throw them out because it's easier.

The debate is over in Los Angeles, however, where shoppers will no longer have to choose between paper and plastic when they check out of the grocery store, as the decision has been made for them.

On Wednesday, May 23, the second largest city in the country made history by officially banning the use of plastic bags at supermarkets and other stores.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the petition to initiate the ban has been advocated by a number of environmental protection groups and celebrities including actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, most famous for her role as Elaine Benes on "Seinfeld."

Attorney H. David Nahai, a former executive for the Department of Water and Power, was one of those pushing for the legislation.

“Plastic harms our environment," Nahai explained to the news source. "It is a threat to the coastal economy. It is a danger to marine life and it is an unconscionable burden to taxpayers who have to foot the bill for cleanups year after year."

There will be a four month review period effective with the passing of the bill. Following that, big stores will have to phase out their use of plastic bags within six months, and small stores will have one year, the media outlet reports.

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