Plastic bag ban grows

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(CNS) – West Hollywood has become the latest California municipality to ban single-use plastic bags at checkout lines. An ordinance approved by the City Council Monday night prohibits hundreds of grocery stores and other retail outlets from distributing the bags.

The ban — in line with one in force in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and approved in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Long Beach and Pasadena — is intended to reduce landfill waste and encourage the use of reusable bags or paper bags made with recycled materials.

Stores will be allowed to offer paper bags made with at least 40 percent post-consumer recycled content for 10 cents each. Food stamp recipients will not have to pay the bag fee.

Retailers with 10,000 square feet or more of floor space must stop using plastic bags within six months but smaller stores have a year to comply under West Hollywood’s ban. Farmers markets, restaurants and other food service providers are not affected.

The ordinance met with little resistance, officials told the Los Angeles Times. The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce supported the ban and has been helping businesses prepare for the transition, Genevieve Morrill, president of the organization, told the newspaper.

And the California Grocers Association is comfortable with the ban, Sarah Paulson Sheehy, a spokeswoman for the organization, told The Times.

“What we particularly like about the City of West Hollywood’s ordinance is that it is for all retailers” and not just supermarkets, Sheehy said. “If a plastic bag is detrimental at a grocery store, it’s harmful at a hardware store.”

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