LOS ANGELES has become the largest city in the US to ban the use of plastic bags in supermarkets.
The bags will be phased out at 7,500 shops over the next year in what environmentalists claimed as a major victory.
The city council voted in favour of the ban, but backed away from a proposal to phase out paper bags as well.
Customers will instead be charged 10 cents (€0.08) for each paper bag.
An estimated 2.3 billion single-use plastic bags are used and discarded in the city each year, according to environmentalists.
Ed Reyes, a city council member, said the ban was "a win for everybody".
Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who plays the role of the US vice president in the new TV comedy 'Veep', appeared before the council to speak in favour of the ban.
Employees of plastic bag manufacturers protested against the ban, some wearing T-shirts saying "Don't Kill My Job". (© Daily Telegraph, London)