At long last, Californians may soon get cleaner streets and beaches — because the state is close to banning the plastic bag.
That will put a nice dent in the 19 billion plastic bags Californians go through every year. Though bags made of virgin paper would also be banned, stores wouldn’t have to get rid of disposable bags altogether. Recycled paper bags that contain at least 40 percent post-consumer content would be allowed — so long as stores charge at least a quarter for them.
AB 1998 was authored by my own state assemblymember, Julia Brownley. According to LAist
, Brownley has been making both the environmental and business case for the bag ban, pointing out that plastic bags cost Californians $25 million a year in cleanup fees.
Right now, we’ve got a strange patchwork of anti-plastic-bag laws across the state, with some cities like Malibu and San Francisco successfully banning plastic bags outright, others like Santa Monica stymied by the threat of lawsuits
from the plastic industry, and others like Los Angeles vowing to ban bags if the state doesn’t ban them soon.
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