California Moves to Become First State
to Ban Plastic Bags
Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2014 By Alejandro Lazo
If Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, Bill Would Be First Such Statewide Ban in the Country
Paper or plastic? In California, the latter may soon no longer be an option and the former may come at a cost.
On Friday, the state Legislature passed a bill banning the use of plastic bags at California grocery stores, pharmacies, liquor stores and other businesses. If signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the bill would institute the first statewide ban on plastic bags in the U.S. A spokesman for the governor said he hasn't taken a position on the issue.
Cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland, Ore., already have such bans in place, as do most counties in Hawaii. The California ban would prohibit the thin, commonly distributed plastic grocery bags in grocery stores and pharmacies beginning July 1, 2015, and go into effect for convenience and liquor stores on that date a year later. Proponents say plastic bags are rarely recycled and commonly littered. The plastic often ends up in the ocean, they say, harming sea life.
The final bill, passed Friday by the Senate, would allow reusable plastic bags to be sold at grocery stores, and would also allow paper bags to be sold to consumers for a minimum of 10 cents.