City of Los Angeles Bag Ban

We did it L.A.! In a historic vote on June 18, 2013, the City Council moved Los Angeles one step closer to becoming the largest city in the United States to ban plastic carryout bags. With dozens of supportive community members in attendance at the hearing, the Council voted 11-1 to advance an ordinance that would ban plastic carryout bags and place a charge on paper bags at grocery stores and select retailers throughout the city. 

Read the full press release.

Bag Ban Signing
June 26, 2013: Heal the Bay's Sarah Sikich and Kirsten James (second and third from top right) watch on as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signs the city-wide plastic bag ban.  


Get the Facts

In Los Angeles we use billions of plastic bags a year. Despite efforts to expand recycling programs, the California recycling rate for plastic bags is 5%. Most bags – even if reused once or twice – end up in the landfill or as litter.

California spends $25 million a year to landfill discarded plastic bags. This money could go to other public services. Plastic bags, designed only to be used for minutes, may never truly biodegrade. As litter, plastic bags enter our ocean, rivers and creeks, threatening marine life. 

On May 23, 2012, the Los Angeles City Council voted to draft an ordinance that would ban single-use plastic bags and place a charge on paper bags at grocery stores and select other retailers. The City has been working to prepare the appropriate environmental reports under the California Environmental Quality Act and draft the language of the ordinance. 

To learn more about Southern California areas that have banned or will ban single-use plastic bags, visit the Southern California Public Radio map with more information about each ordinance.

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