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LA Plastic Bag Ban Goes Into Effect New Year's Day

LOS ANGELES ( — Shoppers in the city of Los Angeles will need to keep their reusable bags handy as a ban on single-use plastic bags goes into effect Wednesday.

Millions of Los Angeles grocery shoppers will now have to bring their reusable bags along with them to supermarkets like Ralphs and Vons; drug stores like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens; and even convenience marts like 7-Eleven. Stores like Wal-Mart and Target that also sell groceries must also stop handing out single-use plastic bags.

The ban's initial rollout will apply to any grocery retailer that makes at least $2 million in gross annual sales or is housed in at least 10,000 square feet of retail space. Paper bags will cost 10 cents each, and reusable bags will be made available, either free-of-charge or for sale.

The ban's reach extends to smaller, independent shops starting July 1.

Department stores and other shops that do not carry grocery items are exempt from the ban.

Grocery retailers could be fined for each day they violate the ban. They could be fined up to $100 for the first violation, as much as $200 for the second, and up to $500 for the third.

The Los Angeles City Council passed the ban in June, making Los Angeles, with its more than 3.8 million residents, the most populous city in the nation to do so.

The city joins Los Angeles County and a long list of other cities that have already passed bans, including the cities of West Hollywood, Culver City, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Malibu, Santa Monica, Glendale and Pasadena.

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