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Bag Ban: Farmers Markets & Your Sweaty Mushrooms

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Photo by Sundogg via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Photo by Sundogg via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
When the Santa Monica single-use plastic bag ban goes into effect on September 1st, it could change the way you experience farmers markets in the area. Instead of a straight ban of all bag types in favor of one eco-friendly BYOB alternative, the LA Times notes that the new ordinance will treat different bags...differently.

Though the standard flimsy two handled bags are completely banned and the goal of the new ordinance is to encourage you to carry your farmers market goods in a canvas bag or similar, other bags will be allowed to protect public health.

What types of bags slipped by the ban? Plastic produce bags that come on a roll and are thicker than average grocery story bags made the cut, but can only be used by vendors and only when items are pointy or moist or would easily spill. "Gently used" plastic bags that you can use again (see! not single use!) also made the cut.

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The city will also provide three "multi-use" bags made from recycled materials by veterans at the West Los Angeles Veterans administration. These specially-designed bags will include backpacks, handle bags and muslin product bags.

One paper bag exception has also made the cut: an 8-pound or smaller paper bag will be allowed for mushrooms so they don't "sweat" in plastic produce bags.

What will happen if you bust out the wrong bag type at farmers markets this fall? Laura Avery, Santa Monica farmers markets supervisor says, "We're not going to arrest or harass you if you have a handle bag that you bring yourself." Just to be safe, though, you might want to get your bags in order over the next few months so you're good to go.