Los Angeles will introduce a ban on large retailers handing out plastic bags at their checkouts starting Jan. 1.
Shops in the US city with a floor space of more than 10,000 square feet or annual sales in excess of $2 million will be unable to dispense plastic carrier bags and will also have to charge 10 cents for paper bags.
Starting in July, smaller shops will also be banned from handing out plastic bags.
The city’s move is the latest in California, where around 90 other towns and counties have already passed bag bans.
Los Angeles Councilman Paul Krekorian, a bag ban backer, told the Los Angeles Daily News: “I think we have all seen a push throughout the world to get rid of disposable items like these plastic bags.
“We use them for about 15 minutes and then it takes hundreds of years for them to break down. We (in the United States) use about 200,000 plastic bags every hour.
“And the city has to spend millions to clean up the damage caused by the bags through litter or clogging up storm drains or in the water. We shouldn’t be squandering that money, which can be spent on other things.”