High Trash Areas Map

The City of Los Angeles is proud to announce the launch of "It’s Our L.A! Keep It Clean," a program to encourage residents to return plastic grocery bags to stores for recycling.

The program coincides with the passage of the Plastic Bag Recycling Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 2449, Levine, D-Van Nuys), a new statewide law that requires certain retail and grocery to set up an at-store recycling program for customers to return plastic bags. The bill will be implemented with materials including visible and accessible recycling bins, plastic bags labeled with a recycling message, and signage to encourage customers to return the bags - clean, dry and empty -- to the stores.

The bill, effective July 1, 2007, also mandates plastic carryout bag manufacturers to work with grocery stores on their programs and make recycling educational materials available to them.

The City of Los Angeles has partnered with the Progressive Bag Alliance, Unified Western Grocers, Los Angeles Conservation Corps, and various environmental partners to publicize AB2449 and to implement a pilot at-store plastic bag recycling program that works for both mandated and voluntary retailers. Our pilot will target retailers in the City’s designated “High Trash Areas.”

It’s Our L.A! Keep it Clean” amplifies the City’s ongoing efforts to reduce plastic bags that clog our waterways, harm birds and other wildlife and blight our community. The simple choice to recycle plastic bags results in longer-lasting impacts for cleaner and healthier oceans.

Everyone can do their part to participate in reducing, reusing and recycling plastic bags. The City encourages all grocers and retailers throughout the city to participate in the "It’s Our LA! Keep It Clean" Plastic Bag Recycling Program, whether mandated under AB2449, for stores with more than 10,000-square-feet of retail space, or voluntarily.

Ultimately, active participation from retailers and consumers will help make the plastic bag recycling program successful.

  • Plastic carryout bags provided by the store shall have printed or displayed on the bag, in a manner visible to a consumer, the words "PLEASE RETURN TO A PARTICIPATING STORE FOR RECYCLING."
  • Provide a collection bin, placed in a visible area, easily accessible to the consumer, and clearly marked that the collection bin is available for the purpose of collecting and recycling plastic carryout bags
  • All plastic bags collected by the store shall be collected, transported, and recycled in a manner that does not conflict with the City’s source reduction and recycling element
  • The store shall maintain records describing the collection, transport, and recycling of plastic bags collected for a minimum of three years and shall make the records available to the City to demonstrate compliance and assess program success
  • Offer reusable bags to customers for purchase.

  • Provide voluntary retailers a collection bin or help set up an independent collection system
  • Provide both voluntary and required AB2449 retailers promotional materials for placement on collection bins, on store doors/windows/entrances, and at point-of-sale stations
  • Set up a website www.plastics.lacity.org for downloadable materials and a list of stores participating in the City’s program
  • Connect residents to curbside information on plastic recycling, multi-family recycling, LAUSD/city joint recycling programs, and show you how to take action in your neighborhood
  • In the first year, the City’s pilot program will focus on geographic areas designated as “High Trash Areas.”

Besides the expected benefits of cleaner streets and waterways, you will be contributing to increased awareness on recycling. Additionally, you will help the City meet federal and state mandates for reducing waste in our waterways by 2013. This program allows apartment dwellers, condo owners, and schools to recycle virtually anywhere in the city.

For the purpose of the City, the pilot program commitment will be for one year, at which point an assessment of the program will be carried out. The state law expires in 2013.

We also added a TAKE ACTION! section to this website to encourage the public and schools to look at this effort as simple and effective, from knowing what goes into your recycling bin to volunterring for a cleanup, to helping your local stores start a recylcing program.

This section contains a City of Los Angeles “Hot Spots” Trash Map, as well as photos, resources, and a sample “get started” letter for your local retailer.

Progressive Bag Alliance, FOLAR, California Grocers Association, Unified Western Grocers, Los Angeles Audubon Society, Friends of Ballona Wetlands, Green Ambassadors, Los Angeles Conservation Corp, Korean Culture Center, William C. Velasquez Institute, Alianza de los Pueblos del Rio, Santa Monica BayKeepers, Algalita Marine Research Foundation, International Bird Rescue Research, Ballona Creek Renaissance, Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project, Sierra Club- Los Angeles Chapter, Urban Semillas, Keep Los Angeles Beautiful, Southern California Watershed Alliance, Council on the Environment and Jewish Life of Southern California (COEJLSC), Cooperative Purchasers, Earthwise Bags, GetHipGetGreen Bags, OneBagataTime.

Got new ideas? Need more promotional materials? Got the recycling bug and want to do more? If you have any further questions regarding "It’s Our LA, Keep It Clean" Plastic Bag Recycling Program or the Los Angeles River; please do not hesitate to contact us. Your questions and comments are greatly appreciated!