Mom-and-pop markets, liquor outlets and convenience stores are no longer immune to L.A.'s plastic bag ban, starting today.
About 5,000 retailers that are 10,000 square feet or smaller and that have less than $2 million in annual sales will now have to tell you to bring your own bag or buy paper for 10 cents.
The ban is an extension of the plastic bag prohibition for full-size grocery stores that went into effect at the beginning of the year:
The smaller stores were given an additional six months to prepare for the ban. Now it's here.
Stores that don't get the message could be fined $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second and $500 for a third.
You'll still be able to get those clear plastic bags for produce and fresh fish and meat. And takeout restaurants do not have to abide by this rule.
Organizers of the ban, including city Councilman Paul Koretz, say it has been a success in cleaning up our streets, reducing the piles of non-biodegradable plastic in our landfills and ensuring fewer of these bags end up on our beaches.
Councilman Paul Krekorian said:
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This is an important next step for our city. Since the plastic bag ban for large stores took effect in January, Angelenos have started to shift the way they get groceries. We are more conscious about how these bags hurt the environment. By expanding the ban to all grocery stores and markets, Los Angeles is truly showing our commitment to a more responsible and sustainable future.
Yesterday Mayor Eric Garcetti's office announced that Melodie Pisciotti is the winner of a citywide contest to design the official L.A. resuable bag. See a photo of the winning design, above.
It will be made by veterans in L.A. with the help of private donations.
Garcetti's office said the design would "celebrate a new era of plastic bag-free L.A."
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