Nearly three weeks after a similar measure was defeated in the California Legislature, the City Council voted 11-1 to prohibit the so-called “single use” plastic bags in pharmacies, food markets and any large store — including Target and Wal-Mart — that has a grocery section.
Tuesday’s vote offered a sweeping victory for environmental activists. Once the ban goes into effect, around one-fourth of California’s population will be covered by laws that will move consumers toward reusable bags, said Kirsten James, who handles water policy for the advocacy group Heal the Bay.
“This is the biggest city in the nation to tackle the single-use bag addiction,” James said. “It sends a strong signal to Sacramento that we need a statewide policy.”
L.A.’s ordinance will be phased in over the next year, reaching large stores on Jan. 1 and smaller ones on July 1, 2014. Customers who want paper bags will have to pay 10 cents for each one, according to the ordinance.