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Plastic bags banned in unincorporated Los Angeles County

November 16, 2010 |  1:27 pm

Starting next July, residents of unincorporated Los Angeles County won't get the ubiquitous "paper or plastic" question when they check out their groceries, and if they request "paper," they'll pay a dime apiece for the the bags.

In a 3-1 vote, the Los Angeles County Board of Spervisors approved a ban on free plastic bags at grocery stores in unincorporated areas of the county, where as many as 1.1 million county residents shop.

With these words, “No store shall provide to any customer a plastic carryout bag,” the county joined a small but growing number of jurisdictions that have cracked down on plastic grocery bags, which often find their way into creeks and streams that lead to the ocean and don't decompose readily in landfills.

Bans have been enacted in San Francisco, Malibu and Washington, D.C., among other places. A statewide ban in California was defeated in the last legislative session, amid heavy lobbying from the chemical industry.

Merchants who choose to offer paper bags will have to charge 10 cents per bag, under the ordinance.

Plastic bags commonly dispensed in meat and produce sections will still be available.

Read more about the ban: "L.A. County passes sweeping ban on plastic bags."

-- Geoff Mohan