Bring your own bag for the win!
Yesterday California passed a law to ban single-use plastic shopping bags, becoming the first state in the U.S to prohibit stores from handing them out. The law is designed to reduce production, consumption, and pollution, of plastic bags, and to encourage people to instead bring their own reusable bags to the grocery store. With 123,000 tons of plastic bags thrown away each year in California alone, this new law should have a huge impact on California’s plastic waste problem, and it is to likely set a great precedent for the rest of us.
Already, states like Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, are considering and implementing similar programs to discourage or phase-out plastic bag use.
This law does have some opposition, however, as those in the plastic bag industry fear job loss. Some plastic bag companies, however, are actually adapting to the new playing field by switching their focus to creating reusable plastic bags.
The California law will go into full effect July 2015, yet many large municipalities in California already have enacted policies that discourage or even outright ban single-use plastic bags, San Francisco being the first in the United States in 2007 .
With California as a great role model, we can follow the lead and feel confident that with enough activism and social and political pressure, we too can reach a state-wide plastic-free policy.
Be sure to check out this previous awesome blog post about up-cycling t-shirts into reusable shopping bags!: