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article imageL.A. ban on plastic grocery bags set to begin Jan. 1

By Kevin Fitzgerald     Dec 30, 2013 in Environment
Los Angeles - As 2014 begins, a new law in Los Angeles will make it illegal for local grocery stores to distribute plastic bags to customers. The main purpose of the law is to reduce the hazards caused by plastic bag pollution.
According to the Los Angeles Times, customers will be required to either bring their own bags, purchase reusable bags, or pay 10 cents for paper bags.
SCPR reports that all major grocery store chains as well as pharmacies and retail stores that sell groceries will be required to follow the ordinance. Convenience stores have until July 1 to comply with the new law. The ordinance does not apply to hardware stores, dry-cleaners and restaurants.
The new law, however, does have certain provisions that allow lower income residents to still receive bags from stores without having to pay.
Los Angeles is not the only city to impose such a ban. The Huffington Post reports that similar laws are already in effect in Santa Monica and San Francisco.
According to the Pocono Record, a detailed study conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency shows that many of the plastic bags that are distributed end up in the ocean and are responsible for the deaths of numerous wildlife species. The same report stated that less than one percent of all plastic bags are recycled and that it takes more money to recycle a plastic bag than to produce a new one.
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