LA Plastic Ban and Its Implications

The ban on single-use plastic bags by Los Angeles recently made it the largest city to impose such a ban. This was after the LA City Council voted 13-1 in favor of the ban. The only exception to the ban is on handle-less produce bags. And the only opposition to the ban emanated from the concern that raw meat and other groceries would probably be contaminated by using reusable bags.

The ban gives a grace period of 12 months for small outlets to phase out the bags while larger supermarkets have been given six months. About 10,000 outlets are directly affected by this ban. This means that the retail establishments will have to look for reusable bags for packaging their customers’ purchases.

Implications Of The Ban
Besides the requirement for retail outlets to provide reusable bags to customers, there are other implications from this ban. To start with, failure to comply with the ban will result in a written warning in the first instance. Further failure to comply results in $100 fine for the first violation, $200 for the second and $500 for the third and any other eventual violation for every day the breach occurs.

However, besides the legal implications some people are concerned of the implications on the manufacturers of the plastic bags. For example, the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) representing the manufactures argues that thousands of jobs will be lost. They argue that the imported green bags are not a better option for the environment.

At the same time, where retailers will not provide free reusable shopping bags, the customers will have to either bring their reusable bags or purchase them at the retail establishments.

With the ban on plastic bags, LA is expected to save on the costs of cleanup that has been compounded by the tons of plastic that has to be collected each year. However, it is not expected that the ban will affect the retail outlets as they are only expected to adopt the use of eco-friendly bags, which they can either supply for free or sell to their customers.

The environmental implications of this ban are also expected to be positive. Out of all the garbage found on the surface of the ocean, 90% of it is non-biodegradable plastic. This has had adverse effects on marine life. And with Los Angeles’ proximity to some of the important rivers and the ocean, the ban could probably have not come at a better time. It may further help reduce the pollution of these waters.

Another environmental impact is the conservation of fossil fuel since the amount of plastic used every year translates to millions of oil barrels. In fact, it is estimated that the amount of plastic used every year in the US is equivalent to a whooping 12 million barrels of oil. And with LA using an estimated 2.7 billion bags annually, the ban will definitely have an impact in conserving the fossil fuel used each year.

Whether you use plastic as shopping bags or hot and cold bags, it is important to be adequately informed about its effects. And we are ready to give you all the information you need in order to make an informed choice on plastic bags.

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