Cecilia DowdJul 25, 2016, 8:31 pmJul 25, 2016, 8:31 pm

Long Beach may soon be getting rid of plastic bags in an effort to go green

Officials working to make shopping less harsh on the environment

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Elected officials in Long Beach are working on legislation that would get shoppers to go green by eliminating plastic bags.

“We really want to move to a system where we do reusable bags and stop using all single use, not just plastic but paper as well,” Long Beach City Council Vice President Anthony Eramo said.

Eramo says the city has been looking at different nationwide models in crafting the local law; a likely one will be where plastic bags are still available with a fee.

Tara Bono, a volunteer with the Long Beach "BYO Bag Campaign," says our oceans are full of plastic.

“Once it's out there, it's there forever, whether it's in the landfill or winds up in the ocean; it never breaks down, never biodegrades. Wildlife eat plastic pollution and it ends up in the food chain,” Bono said.

Shoppers who heard about the possibility of a ban on plastic thought it was a good idea, but supermarkets are more comfortable with a fee-based system.

In a statement, the Food Industry Alliance of New York said, “We oppose plastic bag bans but we don't necessarily oppose fee bills. The main argument for bans is that plastic bags generate a significant amount of litter. That is not true."

As for the legislation, officials say it will likely be introduced within the next several months.

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