2008-07-02 03:10:45 GMT 2008-07-02 11:10:45 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
LOS ANGELES, July 1 (Xinhua) -- A Los Angeles City Council committee adopted a proposal on Tuesday to ban plastic bags in supermarkets.
The proposal also bans foam food containers in city buildings, the Energy and Environment Committee (EEC) said.
Under the proposal, the use of plastic bags will be banned at all supermarkets and retail stores in Los Angeles beginning Jan. 1,2012 if a bag fee has not yet been established, said the committee.
Consumers in the city of Los Angeles use 2.3 billion plastic bags a year. For the average retailer, plastic bags cost 2 cents to 5 cents, compared to biodegradable plastic bags that can cost 8cents to 17 cents.
The negative consequences of plastic bags and polystyrene containers are "increased waste to landfills, increased litter and community blight, the cost the city has to incur to clean up and dispose of the litter we collect in catch-basins or through streetcleaning, and just the impact to our environment, especially marine ecosystems," said Neil Guglielmo with the Bureau of Sanitation.
The city of Los Angeles spends more than 20,000 dollars a year on polystyrene products, Guglielmo said.