California Assembly Votes to Ban Single-Use Plastic Grocery Bags

by , 06/03/10
filed under: Environment, Recycling

policy, sustainable design, green design, plastic bags, california, schwarzenegger, malibu, san francisco, palo alto, recycling

Take a good look at that plastic supermarket bag sitting in your kitchen. If you live in California, it might soon be a relic of the past. The state Assembly voted 41 to 27 yesterday to to ban plastic bags from grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and liquor stores. Instead, customers will have to either bring their own bags or pay 5 cents for recycled paper bags.

plastic bags, california, schwarzenegger, malibu, san francisco, palo alto, recycling

The ban isn’t law quite yet — it still has to pass through the Senate. But if it passes (and it probably will), Governor Schwarzenegger says he will sign the bill. Many Californians are already familiar with plastic bag bans. San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban plastic bags in 2007, and since then, cities including Palo Alto and Malibu have implemented similar bans. What do you think — is a countrywide ban next?

Via LA Times

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  1. Jessica Stone October 1, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Is it 5 cents or 10 cents people will be charged? I’ve read differently from various sources.

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  4. shmeco June 5, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Hi, from Australia – Adelaide, we already have this passed in legislation.It’s great and yes, we too pay for recyceld bags if we want them.
    Retail outlets had to find biodegradable alternatives to use in their shops, which is also good, if you forget your recycled one, you buy a bag, and can use it store food scraps and kitchen waste, tie it up and put it in a back yard compost bin

  5. Bao-Khang Luu June 4, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Arconna, I could be misinterpreting, but the idea is to reduce the use of ANY disposable bags at all and encourage reusable bags.

    But I do appreciate where you are coming from. Light Green and Grey people will be put off by the cost and inconvenience of not getting “free” bags at the store. Money and economy trumps sustainability when the recession takes top billing in national issues.

  6. Bao-Khang Luu June 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    So CA has gone with paper option in the “paper or plastic” controversy. Now what to do about all the paper and other subsequent issues (

  7. Arconna June 4, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I agree with the ban. I disagree with charging people for recyclable bags. That’s the stupidest thing you could do during a recession when the state is, more or less, bankrupt, and people there are already hurting.

    So, I hope they don’t pass it in the Senate so it can go back to the drawing board. I don’t know why they’re charging at all. The recyclable bags are free at the grocery store right now…so suddenly you’re going to charge people for stuff they could have received for free. Absurd.

  8. unorthodox June 3, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Honestly this should be a national law. Bravo to Cali for making these changes.

  9. wolfnowl June 3, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    It\’s a great idea and is already in place in other municipalities and some countries. The only question is, what do those working for plastic-bag manufacturers do now to feed their families?


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