• Plastic Bag Ban Extends to Smaller Stores

    LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Los Angeles’ ban on plastic grocery bags will expand to smaller grocery stores starting Tuesday.

    The single-use plastic bag ban went into effect in January for supermarkets such as Ralphs and Vons, drug stores like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens, and some convenience stores such as 7-Eleven.

    Smaller shops were given six more months to adjust, but time is up. Starting July 1, the ban will also apply to shops with less than 10,000 square feet of retail space or that gross less than $2 million annually in sales. These stores, including liquor stores, usually carry a limited selection of grocery products such as milk, bread, soda, snack foods and dry goods. Paper bags will still be available at these stores, but cost 10 cents each.

    Not all plastic bags will be banned. Clear plastic sacks for produce and meat, as well as bags for pharmacy items, will still be available and free to shoppers. Restaurants, department stores and other shops that do not carry grocery items are exempt from the ban.

    Grocery retailers could be fined for each day they violate the ban. They could be fined up to $100 for the first violation, as much as $200 for the second, and up to $500 for the third.

    City Councilmen Paul Koretz and Paul Krekorian are scheduled to join public works officials today to remind Angelenos the ban is expanding smaller stores. They will also announce the winner of the mayor’s tote bag logo contest and a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a reusable bag giveaway.

    The Los Angeles City Council passed the ban last June, making Los Angeles, with its close to 4 million residents, the most populous city in the nation to do so. The city joined Los Angeles County and a long list of other cities that already have bans in place, including Long Beach, West Hollywood, Culver City, Huntington Beach, Malibu, Santa Monica, Glendale and Pasadena.

    In 2007, San Francisco became the first city in the nation to adopt a plastic bag ban.

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