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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Southern California

City Plastic Bag Ban to Begin in 2014

The plastic bag ban will take effect in large grocery and drug stores.

Starting January 1, 2014, Los Angeles will be following in the footsteps of more than 80 other cities across the state by prohibiting plastic bags at large grocery and drug stores.

"We've been working for the last seven years to ban single use plastic bags here in the city of LA," said Ruskin Hartley, the CEO of Heal the Bay.

According to reuseit.com, one trillion plastic bags are used every year worldwide. One million plastic bags are used every minute. Every square mile of ocean has about 46 thousand pieces of plastic floating in it.

"We could be spending this money more effectively than cleaning up the litter of our careless fellow citizens who discard these things into the environment," explained LA City Councilmember Paul Krekorian.

The United States uses more than a hundred billion plastic shopping bags a year.

"Plastic bags are made from fossil fuels," explained USC's Dr. Kristen Weiss, an environmental studies expert. "A lot of them end up in landfills or the ocean and become a problem."

The city plans to hand out one million reusable bags in low income areas to help make the transition easier. Stores will charge 10 cents each for supplying paper bags.

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