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Los Angeles to become largest US city banning plastic bags

The Los Angeles City Council has recently voted to move ahead with a ban on single-use plastic grocery bags. The controversial ban was designed to reduce waste from landfills and debris entering local waterways. This would make LA the largest US city to impose such a ban, which would impact some 7,500 stores and 4 million people. Although the ban is not yet finalized, it could give rise to efforts to ban plastic bags in other US communities and possible implementation of a statewide ban in California. Supporters believe the ban would be a major step for the environment, while critics believe that it is an example of regulatory overreach which could limit consumer choices and potentially cost jobs. The American Progressive Bag Alliance, which represents those who produce and recycle plastic bags claim that the ban could threaten about 2,000 jobs and will push residents towards less environmentally-friendly non-recyclable reusable bags produced in other countries. They claim that banning only one product cannot significantly reduce litter. However, environmentalists believe that the ban could make a huge difference for ecosystems, as these plastic bags (of which only 5% are currently recycled) clog waterways and litter city streets.

Gary Monitz

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