LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A plastic bag ban in place at large supermarkets and drugstores in the city of Los Angeles will expand this week to include smaller grocers, officials said.
The Single-Use Bag Ordinance for Small Grocers, which goes into effect Tuesday, means that plastic bags will no longer be offered at smaller markets and stores that sell dry groceries, canned goods or both nonfood and perishable items.
KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports the ban comes six months after the single-use plastic bag ban went into effect in January for supermarkets such as Ralphs and Vons, drugstores like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens, and some convenience stores such as 7-Eleven.
However, not all plastic bags will be banned. Clear plastic sacks for produce and meat, along with bags for pharmacy items, will still be available and free to shoppers.
Establishments such as department stores, restaurants and other shops that do not sell grocery items will be exempt from the ban.
City officials have declared the first six months of the ban a success, saying compliance with the ban has been widespread at the big or top-grossing stores.
As a reminder to Angelenos about the ban, City Councilmen Paul Koretz and Paul Krekorian called the expansion to smaller stores “the sequel” to the ban at major grocery stores that started in January.
“In part two, beginning tomorrow, these flimsy, polluting, choking plastic bags will no longer be allowed at the little mom-and-pop stores either,” Koretz said.
“Think how much it would mean to this city to have an extra $500 million that we don’t have to spend cleaning up bags,” Krekorian said.
Once the ban takes effect, grocery retailers could be fined for each day they violate the ban.
Fines start at $100 for the first violation, up to $200 for the second and up to $500 for the third.
Some small market owners have voiced concerns about how the switch will affect their profit margins.
“Well, you know, it’s going to be hard for me, too, because nobody wants to pay … 10 cents [for a bag],” said Cindy, who operates a liquor store near Dodger Stadium.
Heal the Bay’s Ruskin Hartley said he hasn’t heard many complaints from consumers.
“We’ve had certainly a few grumblings from retailers,” Hartley said. “But…consumers quickly get used to it; they realize that they’re part of something bigger and that the simple change of bringing reusable bags to stores is having a big impact on the environment.”
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