Announcements Announcements

November 2016 - Prop 67, the referendum on SB 270, was passed by the voters. Therefore, SB 270 continues to be in effect, prohibiting certain stores from providing customers single–use plastic carryout bags and requiring stores to charge at least 10 cents for reusable or paper carryout bags. For more information on SB 270, click here.

October 2016 - What is Proposition 67 and how does it impact Los Angeles County's bag ban?

THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES'S SINGLE-USE CARRYOUT BAG ORDINANCE went into effect January 1, 2011 and has resulted in:

  • ✔ ✔ 100% of single-use carryout bags are no longer used in stores
  • ✔ ✔ 0 violations resulting in a monetary fine
  • ✔ ✔ Paper bag usage in large store have leveled off at 175,000 bags compared to 2.2 million plastic bags estimated bags used in large stores in 2009

The California legislature passed a statewide bag ban in 2014 which is now on this year's ballot as a referendum - Proposition 67. A "Yes" vote on Prop 67 approves the statewide plastic bag ban. A "No" vote rejects the statewide plastic bag ban. If Prop 67 is not approved by the voters, stores will be allowed to provide single-use plastic bags, unless there is an effective local ordinance in place. Thus, the County of Los Angeles will be authorized to continue to enforce its existing plastic bag ban, whether or not Prop 67 is approved by the voters.

October 2014 - The City of South Pasadena adopted a bag ordinance on May 7, 2014 to phase out single-use plastic grocery bags in grocery, drug, and convenience stores as well as farmers' markets. The ordinance is effect as of October 6, 2014 for larger stores and farmers' markets, and in other qualified stores starting December 6, 2014. There will be a minimum ten cent charge per paper bag.

Great News! Gov. Brown signs bill to phase out plastic bags in stores - The LA Times on 09/30/14 published an article on Gov. Brown signing a bill to phase-out of single-use plastic bags in stores. Click here for more information on the phase-out of single-use plastic bags in stores.

September 2014 - California is one step closer in passing the first state-wide plastic bag ban. In the last week of August, the State Assembly and Senate passed SB270. It now awaits Governor Brown to sign.

July 2014

The City of LA bag ordinance expands to all food retailers on July 1st. Stores located in communities within the City are affected by the City ordinance. The City of Monrovia adopted a bag ordinance on July 1, 2014. Grocery, drug, and convenience stores cannot distribute single-use plastic carryout bags. Paper bags have a minimum ten cent charge requirement. The ordinance will be effective on January 1, 2015.

June 2014 - Below are the latest reports regarding paper bag usage, which show that even as more municipalities in the region have adopted and implemented bag restrictions, paper bag usage has largely stabilized and continues to be lower than prior to adoption of the Ordinance.

Annual Bag Usage

(Note: Data for 2009 shows estimated plastic bag use as a red point and paper bag use as a blue point. Reduction of single use bags was determined by comparing extrapolated Quarterly Report data with reported plastic bag usage in 2009 and estimated paper bag usage based on Bag Usage Survey conducted for the County Bag EIR.)

April 2014 - Happy Earth Day! More jurisdictions are adopting carryout bag ordinances, including the local city of Beverly Hills. In reflection, the County ordinance has impacted stores to continue reducing their usage of carryout bags. By the end of 2013, nearly 168,000 paper bags were provided per large store annually since the ordinance came into effect, and approximately $8,800 were received per large store annually from the paper bag charge.

January 2014 - L.A.'s plastic bag ban goes into effect Jan. 1. The LA Times on 12/30/13 published an article about the prohibition of plastic bags within the City of Los Angeles in 2014. Click on the following link for more information on the City of Los Angeles' Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance.

December 2013 - With participation of County residents and nearly 800 affected retail stores, the ordinance has resulted in large stores continuing to maintain over a 90% reduction in single use bag usage compared to plastic bag usage prior to adoption of the Ordinance. This significant reduction in consumption of single use bags helps reduce bag litter and other environmental impacts at the source. As the season of giving approaches, we continue to give a helpful reminder to residents to use your reusable bags for all your shopping needs.

June 2013

  • On June 26, 2013, the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles signed an ordinance into law banning plastic bags at stores in the City, a day after it had passed the City Council on a 9 to 1 vote. That makes nearly two-thirds of all Los Angeles County residents plastic bag free! Click here to view a map of areas in the County under a carryout bag ordinance.
  • After reviewing submitted reports for store data through the end of 2012, it has been found that large stores have continued to reduce their paper bag usage, by 10% since the ban was implemented.

May 2013

  • The County Ordinance has withstood all legal challenges, including the latest filed by a large manufacturer of plastic bags based outside California, and four California taxpayers, under Proposition 26. On May 15, 2013, the State Supreme Court denied review of the case. Per the original ruling, the charge on paper bags is not an invalid special tax.
  • On May 14, 2013 the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to support Senate Bill 405 (Padilla), a bill that would implement a statewide plastic bag prohibition modeled similarly to the County’s bag reduction ordinance. For more information, please visit SCV News.

March 2013 - From data reported by large stores for the first five quarters, we have found a 19% reduction in paper bag use since the ban came into effect. More than half of the small stores have submitted the quarterly report for the second and third quarters of 2012 and a majority submitted their first quarter report. So far, small stores are also experiencing a continuing reduction in paper bag usage.

September 2012 - County Staff Update [PDF, 33KB] - To build on information provided below in our July update and to address recent news reports related to an industry-funded study regarding the impacts of the County’s single use bag ordinance, we present the following results and additional information regarding the success of the County's Ordinance as it affects stores in the unincorporated areas. It is important to note that the industry-funded study’s conclusions appear to be based on only 3% of survey respondents, while the results below are summaries of reported information that are required to be submitted from all stores.

All large stores affected by the ordinance submitted their reports, including paper bag data, for the first 3 quarters of the Ordinance, as required. A majority of affected small stores have also submitted reports for the 1st quarter of this year and additional reports are being submitted. The following overall conclusions can be made from the first full year of ordinance implementation at large stores:

  • Approximately 125,000 paper bags were provided per store annually (in contrast to approximately 2.2 million single use plastic bags provided per store annually prior to the Ordinance going into effect)
  • Approximately $6,400 were received per store annually from the paper bag charge

From quarter to quarter, paper bag usage continues to decline with a 16 percent overall reduction since the ban went into effect. There are stores that have reported their change in carryout bag policy to no longer use paper bags.

The ordinance affects over 1 million residents and about 800 stores, and to date, Public Works received only about 200 inquiries from stores and residents after the Ordinance took effect. Stores contacted Public Works to obtain clarification about the Ordinance, confirm whether the Ordinance was applicable to them, and report nearby stores they believed were not complying with the Ordinance. Residents contacted Public Works to ask questions about aspects of the Ordinance (e.g., why pay for paper bags) and report stores that they believed were not complying with the Ordinance. Staff made site visits to affected stores to observe or assist them into compliance with the Ordinance.

Prior to the adoption of the County ordinance, the County held stakeholder meetings to make stores aware of efforts underway that may impact their operations, sales, and employment. This started back in 2007 when San Francisco first adopted a Carryout Bag Ordinance. To learn about the County’s efforts prior to adopting the Ordinance, click here.

Los Angeles County Public Works conducted the following various methods of outreach to stores that would be affected by the County Ordinance. Prior to both effective dates of the County Bag Ordinance, the About The Bag campaign conducted reusable bag giveaways at stores and community events to help residents be aware of the ordinance and help them prepare for it. Press conferences were also held to promote the upcoming ban. The About The Bag Eco-Elf campaign distributed reusable bags at participating stores and libraries, and ran a sweepstakes for residents pledging to use reusable shopping bags. Since the campaign, over 300 residents have made the Bag Pledge.

The County considered possible impacts of the ban on store operations and sales, and proposed strategies (best management practices) to assist stores to comply with the Ordinance. Since the ban has been in effect, local reusable bag companies have started to emerge to take advantage of this growing market.

Reuse potential for plastic bags are significantly lower compared to that of reusable bags. Before the ordinance, plastics were typically reused only a couple of times if at all, but then still landfilled. The decline of plastic bag purchases by stores in the unincorporated areas reduces the potential for these thin and lightweight bags to litter the County and impact the landscape and wildlife therein. To learn more about environmental impacts of single use plastic bags, click here.

July 2012 - As we approach the one year anniversary of the ordinance at large stores, we are pleased to announce the Ordinance has so far resulted in a 95% reduction in overall single use bag usage (both plastic and paper), which includes eliminating all single use plastic bags and a significant reduction of over 30% in paper bag usage. We anticipate a similar result as the ordinance is implemented at smaller stores. Keep up the good work Los Angeles County!