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L.A. city council committee passes ban on paper and plastic bags

You know that horrible feeling when you get to the grocery store ready to use reusable bags and realize you forgot them at home? Well, pretty soon forgetting them won’t be an option for customers at 7,500 supermarkets throughout California.

According to the LA Times, the  Los Angeles City Council’s Energy and Environment Committee approved a ban on plastic and paper bags at grocery stores last Wednesday, saying it would make consumers more likely to use reusable bags. It has not yet been voted by the City Council as a whole.

The writer of the proposal, Councilman Paul Koretz, said that once the proposal is in effect city officials would give stores a six month warning before plastic bags would be banned completely.

During this time, paper bags will be 10 cents each. Six months later paper bags will be banned as well.

This ban was not taken well by paper bag manufacturers.

“I will be losing my job, losing my insurance. Please take that into consideration,” said Norma Fierro, an employee of plastic bag manufacturer Crown Poly.

However, environmentalists say that the law will prevent excess plastic being thrown into the ocean. Councilman Dennis Zine said people will just have to adjust to it and remember to bring their bags with them.

Vice President of Sustainability and Environmental Policy for Helix Poly, Mark Daniels, wrote in a statement:

The proposed policy will have no real impact on litter, instead it will only force residents to purchase less environmentally-friendly alternatives like reusable bags, nearly all of which are not recyclable, are less sanitary, are made in China using foreign oil, and often contain heavy metals. Worse, bag bans inflict a regressive tax on the disadvantaged, impose a burden on small businesses, and are a threat to local manufacturing jobs.

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