Hawaii made history in early May 2012 and became the first state to have complete coverage by a plastic bag ban. This was quickly followed by Los Angeles which became the largest city to impose a ban on single use plastic bags along with a ten cent charge on paper bags.
L.A.'s Bureau of Sanitation estimates that:
400 million paper bags and 2.3 billion plastic bags are used each year in the city,
21% (84 million) of paper bags are recycled,
5% (115 million) of plastic bags are recycled.
That leaves a staggering 316 million paper bags and 2.1 billion plastic bags going into landfills or worse, the ocean. And that is only Los Angeles.
But happily that will soon change and pictures like the one above will start to become a thing of the past.
(above photo: Last stop in Los Angeles for plastics before hitting the beach and ocean. They will be heading to the landfill.)