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LA City Council Gives Final Approval Officially Banning Plastic Bags

LOS ANGELES ( — The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday gave its final approval to an ordinance that requires Los Angeles to ban single-use plastic bags.

The ordinance, which will prohibit large stores grossing more than $2 million a year from handing out plastic grocery bags, will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

It will go into effect July 1, 2014, for smaller stores that carry limited groceries, including liquor stores and independent markets.

The council voted 9-1 in support of the ban, making the Jun. 18 tentative approval official.

Under the law, customers will be required to provide personal reusable bags when visiting stores or pay 10 cents per paper bag.

If the ban is violated, stores will be fined an unspecified amount.

Stores will keep the proceeds from the 10-cent charge for recyclable paper bags. They will also put some of the money toward materials to promote reusable bags.

Nearly two billion single-use plastic bags and 400 million paper bags are distributed annually in Los Angeles, according Heal the Bay, a non-profit environmental organization.

Los Angeles, which is the largest city in the country to ban plastic bags, spends about $2 million a year cleaning up litter related to the non-biodegradable bags.

Similar bans are already in effect for West Hollywood, Laguna Beach, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Manhattan Beach and several cities in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

RELATED STORY: LA City Council Approves Plastic Bag Ban

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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