The New Year brought with it the implementation of a plastic bag ban in Los Angeles.
Effective Jan. 1, grocery stores in the city are prohibited by law from disbursing plastic bags to customers, the Los Angeles Times reported
. The measure, which was voted on by the City Council back in June, aims to prevent the harmful plastic from littering the city streets and ultimately ending up in the ocean waters.
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Shoppers now must either bring reusable eco-friendly grocery bags or pay 10 cents per paper bag provided by the stores. Los Angeles is the largest city in the nation to adopt the ban, which brings the number of no-plastic bag cities in the state of California to around 90.
"This is huge step," said Sarah Sikich, science and policy director for the environmental group Heal the Bay, which has been pushing for a bag ban for seven years. "It really sends a message to other places, both nationally and beyond. Now Chicago and New York are looking at similar policies for their communities."
Retailers who break the rules are subject to fines, according to the Times.
Sante Fe looks to be the next city in the country to ban plastic bags
with an ordinance effective Feb. 27.
"Most plastic carry-out bags do not biodegrade and instead persist in the environment hundreds of years, slowly breaking down through abrasion, tearing and photo degradation into toxic plastic bits that contaminate soil and water while entering the food web when animals inadvertently ingest these materials," the new law reads. "It is the city’s desire to conserve resources, reduce waster, litter, pollution and protect the public health and welfare."
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