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California's Statewide Plastic Bag Ban Stalled

California's Statewide Plastic Bag Ban Stalled

Residents of the state of California may never hear the question “paper or plastic?” when shopping at their local grocery store, unless of course pro-plastic bag groups have their way. A law that was set to go into effect in July banning plastic bags in California stores has now been pushed back a year and given over to public vote.

CNN reports about how opponents of the plastic bag ban secured enough signatures (more than 800,000) to delay the law and call for a public vote over the issue. Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Austin already have the plastic bag ban in place, but if the law is passed for California it will be the first statewide ban on the environmentally unfriendly bags.

Both the plastic bag industry and manufacturers have been vocal about their opposition over the ban, but supporters of the ban argue that plastic bags cause great damage to the environment, ending up in landfills and waterways.

So far, the plastic bag industry has spent more than $3 million opposing the ban and it seems to have paid off since the law has now been put on hold until November of 2016 when it will go to public vote. If the new law banning plastic bags goes into effect, stores would be required to offer recycled paper bags or compostable cloth bags at a cost of no less than 10 cents each.

California’s attorney general is now being urged by supporters of the plastic bag ban to verify the more than 800,000 signatures obtained by the plastic bag industry group. According to some supporters, they believe many backers of the petitions were led to believe they were signing a petition to advance the ban or avoid a tax.

What do you think of the controversy over the plastic bag ban in California?

Do you think more states should consider banning the use of plastic bags as a way to go green?


 

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  • cybergwen By cybergwen
    02.26.15  

    We already an almost complete bag ban in San Luis Obispo County, CA. (no plastic at all and 10 cents per paper bag) It's a great thing, just took a while for everyone to get the hang of always carrying reusable bags. The hardest part has been explaining it to the tourists, which we get a lot of. Haven't seen plastic bags along the highways stuck in fences and the like for over a year, that right there is an awesome thing!

  • janeilee By janeilee
    02.27.15  

    oh what a pain! i live in WA. my county banned the less than a year ago it is hard to ALWAYS remember to take your own bags in stores when shopping. my opinion is if people would take the time and recycle all the recyclable products out there then all the products that can be made out of them.

  • gg2manpa By gg2manpa
    02.27.15  

    As a Californian I think a full ban on plastic bags is a little too extreme. Yes we need to take more time to recycle and be serious about reducing and reusing. I toss mine into the car so that when I'm out n about, I can drop them off. If they really want people to stop using plastic, maybe they should charge a few cents to use them or stores can pay a few cents to those who bring our own. I know Winco does and its amazing how many people bring their own.

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