LA County bans plastic bags

Plastic grocery bags will be a thing of the past, come January 2012, in Los Angeles County, where the Board of Supervisors passed a broad bag measure yesterday.  

The Los Angeles Times has a thorough story on the Tuesday action. It includes the text of the ordinance, which proponents hope will become a model for California.

The phase-out being in July, when 67 large supermarkets and pharmacies must stop providing disposable plastic bags. By January 2012, the Times reports, the ban will cover 1,000 stores throughout the county. And, since the whole purpose is to encourage reusable bags, the ordinance requires stores to levy a 10-cent surcharge per paper bag.

Opponents of the measure may yet file suit, but so far, support is broad. "Plastic bags are a pollutant. They pollute the urban landscape. They are what we call in our county urban tumbleweed," said Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

Philadelphia city council members have considered a plastic bag ban here, but it did not pass.