Close California’s plastic shopping bag loophole

Source: Press Democrat


A decade ago, California banned single-use plastic shopping bags. The experiment in environmental stewardship failed. Shops and shoppers exploited a loophole to keep using plastic. Lawmakers should close that loophole and end the plastic bag scourge once and for all.

Ten years ago, Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park joined 100 cities and counties that had already banned plastic bags. At the time, Californians used about 14 billion plastic bags annually and recycled only a tiny fraction of them. Most of them wound up in landfills or, worse, littering roadsides, stuck in trees or polluting waterways. They choked wildlife and blocked storm drains. Some made it into the ocean and contributed to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a gyre of microplastic.

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