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L.A. considers ban on paper and plastic bags; do you support it?

September 7, 2011 |  8:22 am

L.A. considers bag on paper and plastic bags
Talk back LA A Los Angeles city councilman on Tuesday proposed a bag ban that goes beyond action taken in other California cities and counties and calls for stores to stop using paper and plastic bags.

Councilman Paul Koretz said he wanted to reduce the huge number of bags circulating throughout the city that contribute to the litter problem.

Santa Monica, Long Beach and L.A. County -- among others -- have banned plastic bags in recent years. Paper bags are available for a small fee.

Environmentalists said they were thrilled.

"We're hoping that more of these local policies will be a wake-up call," said Kirsten James, water quality director for Heal the Bay. 

Under the L.A. proposal, stores would be permitted to give away or sell only reusable tote bags or face a fine. An exemption would be made for small plastic bags meant to keep raw vegetables and meats separated from other groceries to prevent cross-contamination.

In the past, large retailers have complained about a city-by-city patchwork of laws and instead called for a statewide law that would set broader guidelines.

Last year, a proposed statewide ban on plastic bags died in the Legislature. It was opposed by the American Chemistry Council, the lobbying group that represents the plastic bag industry. The California Grocers Assn. supported the bill. 

What do you think? Should L.A. ban both paper and plastic bags? Do you live in an area that has already banned plastic bags and has it changed your habits? Click on the comment button above to tell us your thoughts.

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-- Kate Linthicum and Kimi Yoshino

Photo: Reusable tote bags would take the place of single-use plastic or paper grocery bags under the proposal. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times 

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