miércoles, 19 de junio de 2013

Los Angeles council votes against plastic bags

The city council of Los Angeles voted to ban shops from handing out plastic bags to shoppers, following the lead taken by several cities in California to restrict a useful accessory that has become one of the major pollutants of the land and oceans, press and agencies reported on 19 June. The ordinance, once confirmed and signed by the mayor, was to gradually take effect between 1 January and 1 July 2014, applying first to the largest supermarkets, Los Angeles Times reported. It would require shoppers to bring their own bags or buy paper bags for 10 cents, while businesses that failed to comply would be fined 100 USD after the first violation, 200 USD after the second and 500 USD after the third, this continuing for every day the shop persisted in handing out plastic bags, the daily reported. Jobs were likely to be lost in the plastic sector, but the move was expected to cut the pollution caused by bags, many of which were thought to end up in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or Plastic Soup that mostly consists of plastic fragments and is reported to have increased in size 100 fold in the last 40 years. EFE news agency cited Los Angeles authorities as estimating that presently some 2,000 million plastic bags were given out in Los Angeles annually; 60 Californian communities or districts it added had banned the distribution of free or of all plastic bags, including San Francisco in 2007 and Santa Monica in 2011.