Los Angeles Reducing single-use bags: (Single Use Bag Ordinance)

Banning plastic bags in grocery, convenience stores and pharmacies (Single-Use Bag Ordinance)

Los Angeles COUNTY, CA

Join over 400 residents that  pledged  to go Clean LA Plastic Bag Free 

Join over 400 residents that pledged to go Clean LA Plastic Bag Free 

How you can benefit

Plastic litter ends up in our water and breaks into toxic microplastics that end up in the flesh (tissue) of fish people eat.  And cats,  turtles, and other animals accidentally eat plastic bags and choke, or their stomach gets lined with bags so they cannot eat, or they get poisoned by plastic.  Businesses like Nelson Garcia of Alba Snacks agree plastic bags are unnecessary.  That's partly why the county created the Single Use Bag Ordinance to:

  • Stop giving customers plastic carryout bags (produce bags or product bags are exempt).
  • Make available to customers recyclable paper carryout bags or reusable carryout bags.
  • Charge customers using recyclable paper carryout bags $0.10 per bag. 
  • Give free paper or reusable bags to customers in the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) or CalFresh/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • Indicate the number of recyclable paper carryout bags provided and the total amount charged for the bags on customer receipts.

Why this is a leading policy

The ordinance affects over one million residents and about 800 stores.  Unlike bans like San Francisco's, it requires businesses to submit quarterly reports.


To reduce litter and landfill disposal, prevent blight, and protect animals.

Who can take action

Help these non-compliant businesses get a friendly reminder:


Large stores reduced single use bags by 90%.


Penalties include a written warning, then a fine not exceeding $100 for the first violation, up to $200 for the second, and up to $500 for subsequent violations. Fines help the Department of Public Works enforce the ordinance.


Coby Skye, Associate Civil Engineer LA County, (626) 458-5163, cskye@dpw.lacounty.gov

Last updated

September 25, 2015