California Bans Plastic Bags

Posted on 14th October 2014 by admin in Rivers of the world

This article was posted on Sep 30 2014 by Tracy Russo

After an insistent year-long campaign by environmental and citizen activists, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law yesterday SB 270, legislation introduced by State Senator Alex Padilla (D) from Los Angeles. The legislation prohibits the use of single-use plastic bags in grocery and retail stores throughout the state of California, the first state in the nation to do so. The bill actually goes beyond a simple “bag ban.”Recognizing that removing plastic bags is only one strategy in the battle against wasteful consumption of both renewable and nonrenewable resources, the bill also requires that a surcharge of at least 10 cents be levied on paper bags, compostable bags, and even reusable plastic bags.

Response from environmental organizations is celebratory – but not jubilant. “It’s clear that there is a growing grass-roots movement not just in California but across the country to stop plastic pollution,” observes Dianna Cohen, CEO of the Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC). “Our coalition consists of over 380 NGOs, businesses, and prominent individuals from around the world, all dedicated in their own ways to bringing about a measurable reduction of single-use and disposable plastics — plastic shopping bags, plastic bottles, and straws being the most pervasive.”

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