Yesterday, the L.A. City Council voted 13 to 1 in favor of a citywide ban on the use of plastic bags in grocery checkout lines, making L.A. the largest city in the nation to approve such a ban. Over the next 12 months, plastic bags will be phased out of about 7,500 stores, serving as a major victory for environmental advocacy groups like Surfrider Foundation and Heal the Bay. In addition, the use of paper grocery bags will come with a 10-cent charge after this 12-month period.

While the ban comes with some controversy, mainly from plastic bag manufacturers and shoppers who do not want to be inconvenienced, it will greatly reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean, waterways and landfills, which threatens marine life and pollutes the air and landscape. 

For more information about the City Council’s decision, click here.