California Governor Jerry Brown just signed the nation’s first state-level ban on plastic bags into law! Several cities across the United States have already outlawed plastic grocery bags, but this is the first time a bag ban has been signed into law on the state level. The new measure is a big step forward for waste reduction and the preservation of the environment, and it sends a clear signal to consumers and manufacturers about the consequences of using non-renewable materials for packaging.
California’s plastic bag ban has been working through the system for nearly two years – and it was just a month ago that the California Senate voted 22-15 to approve the measure. In order to be made law, the bill had to be signed by Governor Jerry Brown who, according to The Huffington Post, has not voiced his opinion on the matter in the past. The bill was sponsored by state Senator Alex Padilla, who made a similar effort last year, although it failed to be passed by the Senate by only three votes,
The new measure prohibits the use of single-use bags in grocery shops and is expected to force local plastic bag manufacturers to make multiple-use bags. Stores can sell paper, durable reusable bags, and compostable bags with a minimum charge of 10 cents each – a price meant to encourage consumers to use their own reusable bags. After the bill’s defeat last year, Senator Padilla earned significant support by promising financial aid to help some California-based bag makers retool in order to produce multiple-use bags.