There’s no doubt that single-use plastic bags are an eyesore. They blow all over our streets and parks, beaches and roads. They can clog sewers and intake vents at water treatment facilities. They don’t degrade for hundreds of years.
But they are also one of the most useful products we keep around the house. There are dozens if not hundreds of uses for these bags – everything from being a receptacle for dog poop to lining waste baskets.
Efforts to recycle the bags have met with utter failure. More than 88% of single use plastic bags never make it to the recycling center.
Hundreds of communities across the country have already banned them. Now, California has become the first in the nation to make a ban state wide.
Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) said his bill just makes statewide what more than 120 cities and counties in California have already done.
“We have seen a groundswell of action in this direction at the local level,” Padilla told colleagues. “But this is a statewide problem meriting a statewide solution.”
The ban would kick in for grocery stores and pharmacies on July 1, 2015, and would extend to convenience and liquor stores a year later. The 100 cities and counties that already have bans would be grandfathered in.