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L.A. County bans plastic grocery bags; what’s the local angle?

Los Angeles County has banned plastic grocery bags in its unincorporated areas. Reusable bags, such as these offered by Lululemon Athletica, could be used instead.

“Enacting one of the nation’s most aggressive environmental measures,” Los Angeles County supervisors voted on Tuesday to ban plastic grocery bags in unincorporated areas of the county, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

” The ban, which will cover nearly 1.1 million residents countywide, is to the point: “No store shall provide to any customer a plastic carryout bag.” An exception would be made for plastic bags that are used to hold fruit, vegetables or raw meat in order to prevent contamination with other grocery items. 

If grocers choose to offer paper bags, they must sell them for 10 cents each, according to the ordinance.” 

How likely is this movement to extend to your area, and what are the issues involved? Check out this post by BusinessJournalism.org blogger Melissa Preddy earlier this year. At that time, the state Assembly had passed a statewide ban, but it failed to clear the state Senate at the end of August, amid heavy lobbying by plastic-bag makers, according to the Times. 

Interested in the intersection of business and the environment? Join us for a daylong workshop on March 4 at the Los Angeles Times on Covering the Green Economy. Stay tuned for details. Or check out our coverage from a three-day seminar on the same topic last summer in Phoenix. 

About the Author

The Reynolds Center, created through generous grants from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation of Las Vegas and operated by ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is dedicated to improving the quality of business and economics coverage through training programs for business reporters and editors.

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