California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new bill into law that will ban single-use plastic produce bags starting in 2025. The law requires that all single-use plastic produce bags be replaced by either recycled paper bags or compostable ones.
Thin plastic bags are commonly used to separate items before they are packaged for checkout. The ban will also affect bags used for unwrapped items such as fish, meat, grains and nuts, among others. The bill was sponsored by Californians Against Waste, an environmental advocacy group based in the state.
“The average working life of a plastic bag is 15 minutes, and over 100 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide each year,” said Californians Against Waste on its website. “Several studies have shown that contamination in compost waste streams decreases when consumers have convenient access to compostable bags.”
The bill was not passed without opposition from local groceries and stores. California Grocers Association was the main challenger against the bill. However, the proposers of the bill gathered sufficient numbers to push it through.
“This contamination is a huge problem and creates microplastics in our compost, and also leads to higher handling costs and higher rates for consumers at the curbside,” said Nicole Kurian, Legislative Director at Californians Against Waste.
California residents who spoke to the press have expressed their support for the new law.
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