Fortunately not just a theory: San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles County have already had a ban on plastic bags. However, Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill to make California the first U.S state to ban plastic bags.
This bill is meant to keep these pesty plastic bags from littering our beaches, cities, and piling up in our landfills. Re-usble bags make more sense than single-use plastic bags. Brown assured the public in statement that, “We're the first to ban these bags, and we won't be the last.”
Retailers will have until July 2015 to completely stop using plastic bags. This will give them the chance charge their customers 10 cents to use recycled paper bags. It has been shown that use of bags decreases drastically when they are not provided for free.
So, Mother Nature will surely be pleased, but not so much plastic bag manufacturers. Job loss is clearly a concern in this situation, but the bill allows $2 million in loans for manufacturers to transition operations to make reusable bags. The bill will also waive fees for people who need public assistance since it will be a big change for them to pay for something they previously received for free.
Let’s hope that Governor Brown is right about not being the last state to make this ban. This can really make a difference of clearing the environment and urging consumers to make smarter choices.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico are currently pending legislation to ban plastic bags.