Plastic bags will be a thing of the past in Long Beach beginning today, and suddenly all of those who have been using and using plastic will need to tote reusable and paper bags.
Under a measure passed by the Long Beach City Council, the city’s larger stores will not be allowed to pack items in plastic bags. Customers will be able to buy paper bags for 10 cents each but will be encouraged to bring in their own reusable bags when shopping.
The smaller stores will phase out the use of plastic bags and will be plastic-free by January, according to the new law.
Environmentalists have long argued that plastic bags, not being organic and biodegradeable, clog drains, clutter up the environment and even endanger fish.
To smooth the conversion, a handful of grocers in Long Beach have been distributing free re-usable bags. Until Aug. 9, customers who spend $30 or more at any of five Albertsons outlets in Long Beach will be given a free re-usable bag. The Albertsons locations are at 6255 E. Second St., 644 Redondo Blvd., 101 E. Willow St., 6235 E. Spring St. and 450 Long Beach Blvd.
Other cities that have adopted such bans are San Francisco and Santa Monica.
Los Angeles County’s new ban took effect July 8, and the cities of Pasadena and Los Angeles are considering such bans.