On the first day of 2014, L.A. will become the nation's largest city to enact a ban on one-time-use plastic bags at grocery stores, liquor stores and pharmacies.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa singed the ban into law yesterday, a spokewoman for his office confirmed:
It will be one his last acts as mayor (he leaves office June 30).
In endorsing the local ordinance, the mayor urged a statewide ban similar to L.A.'s:
The problem of plastic bags isn't just a L.A. problem. It's a California problem. But so far, our state leaders have not been able to find a workable solution. So we have acted, because we are not going to wait to protect our environment.
Opponents of the ban argued it's a power grab by big grocery store chains, which will be able to charge you 10 cents a bag for paper bags if you forget to bring your own reusable totes when you shop.
Environmentalists, however, hail the law as a step forward: Heal the Bay stated that disposable bags clog our gutters and waterways and end up in the Pacific.
The ban will begin with big grocery stores and extend to smaller markets starting July 1, 2014.