California State Assembly Passes Bill That Will Ban Plastic Bags
Around the world, there are many people who follow (and perhaps sometimes even yell) the anti-plastic bag mantra: Ban the plastic bag! Well, it would seem that mantra is becoming a reality in California.
Recently, the state Assembly voted 41 to 27 to pass a bill that will ban single-use plastic grocery bags, making it the first of its kind in the US. The ban was also endorsed by the California Grocers Association and Governor Schwarzenegger also plans to sign the bill if it passes the Senate as expected.
You can check out information on the new bill here (search for AB 1998), though here are some key points to expect:
• In-store plastic bags recycling programs will be repealed.
• Grocery stores, convenience stores, and other specified stores will be prohibited from providing single-use plastic bags to customers.
• Stores will be required to provide reusable bags to customers or recycled paper bags for a reasonable cost no less than $0.05.
Some cities throughout California already have plastic bag bans at work, including San Francisco and Malibu. Environmentalists are also particularly happy about the ban, especially considering that Californians alone use 19 billion plastic bags per year and these plastic bags can (and have) posed a major threat to wildlife.
This latest bill comes after a long line of great green efforts in California, including mandatory recycling programs and stricter rules on appliances and electronics. I only wonder how long it will be before other states (or countries) take the initiative and start doing the same.
By Heidi Marshall