The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a ban on the use of plastic bags in the unincorporated areas, and it begins July 1.

The ban affects all local supermarkets like Food 4 Less, Ralph’s, Albertsons, Sam’s Club as well as large retail stores with a pharmacy including CVS and Walgreens.

On Jan. 1, 2012, the bag ban will be extended to convenience and other food stores. The board’s intent is to promote reusable bags over the single-use plastic or paper carryout bags. In Los Angeles County alone, cities like Malibu, Long Beach, Santa Monica, and Calabasas have all passed similar laws.

Consumers must bring their own recyclable bags or a 10 cent tax for every recyclable paper and plastic carryout bag given at checkout will be added to their total.

The only people exempt from the tax are those who receive help from these services: Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) or CalFresh/Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP).

Customers can use their own carryout bag or can buy one from the store where they regularly shop.

For more information about the bag tax and where to get reusable bags, go online to www.aboutthebag.com. Shoppers will find all the information about how the bag tax will affect them.

There are also are some local stores that will do a free bag giveaway:
Albertsons on Friday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 23850 Copper Hill Drive, Valencia.
Food 4 Less on Tuesday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 851 Sepulveda Blvd., Torrance.
Food 4 Less on June 29 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 11407 S. Western Ave. Los Angeles.
Food 4 Less on June 30 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 11840 S. Wilmington Ave., Los Angeles.