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Bagging California’s Plastic Bags

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MOOR graphic by LESLIE HWANG
FARRAH LUU
Staff Writer

California was the birthplace of the Frisbee®, McDonald’s and Barbie® dolls. Now, California has added another first to this list of accomplishments, as the first state to ban plastic bags. The bill to ban single-use plastic bags was approved this past September. The ban will start for companies like Target and Walmart in July 2015 and then be implemented in smaller businesses in 2016. The policy is essentially very beneficial to our environment and could influence other states to take similar measures.

Every year, over ten billion plastic bags are used in California alone, according to Huffington Post. Single-use bags create litter and only three percent of plastic bags are recycled in California. No more plastic bags means that citizens will have to adapt to using reusable bags. Though some are reluctant to always remember to carry a reusable bag, it is an important step toward an eco-friendly state.

About one-third of California’s population is already living under city ordinances that have banned plastic bags. For example, San Francisco has had a plastic bag ban since 2007. These cities show that Californians can embrace the lack of single-use plastic bags.

Though banning plastic bags will impose a handful of changes such as customers having to remember to bring reusable bags when they shop, we should not face these changes hesitantly. This bill may prove to be one of the most significant pieces of California legislation. Since the ban will be in effect starting July 2015, California lawmakers have nine months to promote the pros of banning plastic bags. Until then, it is our job as Californians to accept and adapt to the idea of no more plastic bags to truly benefit our ecosystem.

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