LOS ANGELES — The City Council here voted 13-1 Wednesday to ban plastic bags at supermarket checkouts — the largest city in the U.S. to impose such a law.
According to published reports, plastic bags are scheduled to be phased out over the next 16 months at an estimated 7,500 stores, leaving shoppers with a choice of bringing reusable bags to the store or purchasing paper bags for 10 cents each. Once the ban takes effect later this year, larger supermarkets will have six months to stop handing out plastic bags and smaller markets will have 12 months, after which all supermarkets will be required to charge for each paper bag they provide.
Other California cities that have imposed bans on plastic bags include San Francisco and San Jose in Northern California and Long Beach and Santa Monica, which both abut Los Angeles.
Following the vote, one council member called for a plastic ban throughout California. "Let's get the message to Sacramento that it's time to go statewide," he said.