Plastic Bag Ban – Where is California now?
In November of 2016, 52% of the people of California voted to pass the plastic bag ban. In coastal communities, the approval number was even above 75%! That means that anytime you go to grocery stores, retail stores, convenience stores, food marts, or liquor stores, you have to bring your own reusable bag now, or pay a $0.10 fee to the store for a disposable bag. There was support on both sides of the bill, yet most clung to the idea of saving the ocean they love.
Before the ban was in effect, 14 million plastic bags made their way into California’s environment every year with less than 2% being recycled. Now, according to John Corrigan with ASI Central, “Cities and counties that banned plastic bags have reported significant reductions in litter and waste. In the first year of the ban taking effect, San Jose found that creek and river litter decreased by 76%, litter in storm drains reduced by 69%, and park and roadside litter dropped by 59%, according to the city’s transportation and environment committee.” On top of the reduced litter, companies saved a lot of money that would have been used to repair machinery due to plastic contamination.