Editorial: What plastic bag ban? California stores still doling out disposable sacks
With a bag in your hand there is a plastic bag in your hand. Plastic bags have become more common than paper bags and reusable grocery bags. The bags have gone through various phases and changes. It is still legal to buy your groceries in a plastic bag at the grocery store, but many stores have started replacing them with paper bags or reusable bags.
The problem is that the amount of plastic bags the grocery store produces can make a big impact on the environment. The bags are lightweight yet durable and can be easily recycled. But the number of bags that end up in landfills is astounding. The Los Angeles Times published this article earlier this year, called “The plastic bag challenge” and included the story of a California woman who came up with a clever method to make her own reusable bags from recycled plastic soda bottles. It is easy to see the possible solution to the problem. As people buy less of them, we could take them home when we used them as we went about our daily life and recycle them when we are done.
In the California Legislature, there is a bill making its way through the Legislature that would ban retailers from recycling or using plastic bags in grocery stores. The bill is based on a state law passed in 2012 regulating the use of plastic bags in restaurants. The article also includes the following quote:
The legislation aims to end a growing problem of plastic bags ending up in landfills, a major contributor to pollution.
“Many of these bags end up in landfills. You don’t want that to continue,” said Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-San Diego, who authored the state bill.
In California, where it is still legal to buy plastic grocery bags, the supermarkets are recycling the bags through a process that ends up in a landfill, and not in landfills for recyclers.
But the legislation in California is different because it is a statewide policy limiting the use of plastic bags at grocery stores. The measure only targets retailers.
Gomez said the bill was inspired by a series of undercover investigations by the Times in San Francisco and