A man walks along the street with plastic bags in Los Angeles, Thursday, May 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
LOS ANGELES (AP) - It may seem as if they've been with us forever, but those handy little plastic bags we carry our groceries home in didn't hit stores until 1977.
Shoppers embraced them almost immediately, discovering they were perfect for such utilitarian tasks as lining wastebaskets, collecting dog doo, even storing wet beach towels.
Once discarded, though, they had a nasty habit of washing up on beaches and getting tangled in stuff.
With the Los Angeles City Council now looking at banning them, the bags could be headed for the trash heap of history.
Dozens of other California cities already have similar bans in place.
But environmentalists pushing for the bags' demise believe if a city the size of Los Angeles acts, the rest of the nation may follow.