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West Hollywood Bans Plastic Bags

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — The West Hollywood City Council has passed an ordinance banning single-use, carryout plastic bags at the point of sale from all pharmacy, grocery and retail stores here.

The ordinance is based on the ban currently in effect in Los Angeles County. Similar to laws in neighboring cities, including Santa Monica, Malibu, Calabasas and Long Beach, it goes into effect for retail establishments of at least 10,000 square feet and all supermarkets in February 2013 and for retail establishments smaller than 10,000 square feet in June 2013.

Read more: Toronto Council Votes to Ban Bags

The ordinance requires a 10-cent fee for paper bags to help cover the costs of stocking paper bags and any related outreach or promotional efforts; customers who qualify for subsidized groceries will be exempt from the fee. Paper bags will be required to contain 40% post-consumer recycled content. The ordinance exempts light-weight plastic bags without handles used to transport produce and raw meat products to the point of sale.

The purpose of the ban is to encourage sustainability by requiring shoppers to substitute plastic bags with durable reusable bags and paper bags made from recycled materials, as well as to reduce costs to businesses, consumers, taxpayers and the environment, according to a statement. A ban on single-use plastic bags will also eliminate a source of litter and marine debris and create local green jobs.

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