Though banning plastic bags may be the latest fad sweeping up environmental activists throughout the nation, the reality of its impact on America’s economy is becoming increasingly plain.

A new study, released by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), tackles the aftermath surrounding last year’s ban on plastic bags in certain parts of Los Angeles County. While similar bans have been implemented in other cities, such as Seattle, the study zeroes in on the toll such measures have taken on incorporated businesses in Los Angeles County. Implemented in July of 2011, the ban first applied to retailers “with gross annual sales of at least $2 million or with 10,000 square feet of retail space”. Stage 2 went into effect on the first day of 2012 and placed the same regulations on the shoulders of businesses with less revenue and space.

In its research, NCPA keyed in on several items: shifts in employment for businesses dealing with the ban contrasted with those who did not, shifts in overall sales, the greater impact on American manufacturing, and the real environmental ramifications of such policies.

The results were stunning.

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