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Plastic Bags Get Trashed in California

Come 2012, lucky Californians will never have to hear the question “Paper or plastic?” again.

That’s right—the state of California is trendsetting once again. The state’s General Assembly passed a bill on June 3 that, if enacted, will ban the use of plastic bags in grocery stores, drugstores, and other convenience stores.

Instead, customers will be encouraged to use reusable cloth totes to do their shopping. They will also have the option to purchase paper bags, made out of partially recycled materials, for an estimated 5 cents per bag.

According to the bill’s author, Assemblymember Julia Brownley, the ban will “eliminate single-use bag litter, which pollutes oceans, beaches, parks and communities and endanger wildlife.”

Now this is something worth celebrating. Why not treat yourself—and the planet—by purchasing a PETA reusable grocery bag?

Be sure to check out our top five reasons to take your own shopping bags to the store.

And, of course, happy shopping!

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  • Project GreenBag says:

    Reusable bags: 100% organic cotton + Made in CA. = Sustainable. http://www.ProjectGreenBag.com

  • Reveckah says:

    It really is a great initiative.
    We have it in South Australia
    As of may last year the typical non biodegradable bags were banned here.
    You can already see a huge difference in the environment here. I love it.
    I love that its becoming cool to care about the world around you.
    After all it is the only one we’ve got.
    Good on ya California.

  • Tohni Bee says:

    Perfect!
    I don’t see why they do not ban it 2010 :)

  • kathleen wissenz says:

    ALL states should do this. I buy reusable totes for all my family members as gifts. Every step toward a greener plastic-free planet is a victory!

  • scar says:

    @Montana Monroe: you can start using flushable litter: http://www.worldsbestcatlitter.com/

  • susanyro says:

    I would love to meet the first cashier who ever DOUBLED a bag. What a wasteful action!

  • Bob Yancey says:

    On the lighter side of outlawing plastic shopping bags, maybe Glen Beck will put one over his head in protest.

  • Alice says:

    awesome then there will be more wildlife… YAY!!!!

  • chander kumar soni says:

    liked too.

  • Carol says:

    We haven’t used plastic bags in very long time we bought bags from Winn Dixie and they are great and they have more room and easier to carry.

    I try to tell other people in the store but only in America they don’t understand me and they keep using plastic but by 2012 they are going to have to buy the Winn Dixie bags whether they like or not and that is a fact.

  • Rachel L'Heureux says:

    California ROCKS. The rest of the country should look to them as an example!

  • Christian says:

    I am shoked!!! Im so glad. If only Iliinois And the whole world Thiked like Californiaaaa =D

  • Not so Smart says:

    Plastic bags have their uses and most everyone I know re-purposes theirs. I use mine for a car litter bag, to clean the cat litter, trash bags at home, and a variety of other uses. If they were to be banned, I would just have to go buy the regular Hefty kind of trash bags.

    If I don’t need a plastic bag, I use my re-usable ones.

    Wish the government and other control freaks would just mind their own business and leave me out of their causes.

  • michelle bethune says:

    Does someone have a good letter that one can send to our local grocery stores to encourage getting rid of plastic bags?

  • MattMoka says:

    I live in Montreal,Quebec.We’ve been doing this for a while now.Some places still charge 5 cents a bag.Others,like now in California,don’t supply them at all.

  • Montana Monroe says:

    What will I scoop my kitty litter in though!?

  • Nicole says:

    I am from Germany and I have always been wondering why you get so many plastic bags in the States….Here you have to pay about 20 US cent for a plastic bag (which is bigger than the ones in the US and can be reused several times), and I think we started to pay for the plastic bags more than 10 years ago! Most Germans use baskets or other bags – far less rubbish. Great that you start to join us!

  • adsl başvurus says:

    its very strange

  • Annie says:

    Not so trendsetting. My state has had a statewide ban on the plastic bag for over a year now. I live in South Australia.

  • Barbro Dahlberg says:

    I wish we were that intelligent i Sweden too. Congratulation California for one of the most intelligent decision this century.
    Abig hug for you(:

  • Gloria says:

    lovely :)! soo happy right now ! :D

  • Caroline says:

    This is exciting news! I can’t wait for this to happen in New York. We all need to take responsibility in caring and nurturing our globe. Some people need extra motivation. Unfortunately, they will only behave responsibly when it cost them money. BRAVO to you Californians!!!!

  • elizabeth says:

    awesome! we need this everywhere!

  • Brennan says:

    I love this idea… more states should do this

  • Marsha Harris says:

    Kudos to CA for taking such a bold stance and eliminating single use plastic bags! I hope now others states will follow suit.

  • SJK says:

    Although reusable bags are a great answer to plastic and I use them every time I shop, they use hundreds of times the energy to make, and more resources per bag….so stock piling reusable bags isn’t all that friendly to the earth now is it??? We don’t all need a reusable bag from EVERY company and non-profit we support to show that we are ‘saving the earth’. We just need the 5 or so it takes to carry our groceries home once a week. Stop buying more or taking them stuffed with free promotional items if you already have enough at home!

  • Nicole Oamilda says:

    WOOHOO! I’m so excited for this even though it’s only in California! PLEASE make this worldwide…Im in Hawaii & people laugh @ me when I tell them “Soon you’ll have to pay for the bag, if you don’t bring your own reusable one!” AWESOME!

  • ferdo says:

    What about plastic waste bags? Are they not a major issue as well!

  • Big Daddy Ken says:

    One can only hope that the rest of the country follows suit and bans plastic bags. Why is so difficult for our great country to think outside of the perverbial box?
    We can do it, musn’t give up.
    Thanks California!!!

  • Lindsey says:

    That’s FANTASTIC!!!!!!! Hope my state follows their lead =)

  • Carlton Hobbs says:

    Fantastic News! Thank you Julia Brownley!!!

  • Michael Pawlega says:

    That’s the greatest idea I have ever heard! Good job, Cali!

  • Ellie Schuyler says:

    I’ve been writing to the major grocery store chains in Ca. for years asking that they start charging for plastic bags or stop offering them and this is the best news I’ve heard in a long time! Now we just need the other states to follow. I also go up to people in the grocery stores and educate them about the evils of plastic bags, especially people with children and they really appreciate it as people just don’t know how bag the plastic bags are to our precious environment.

    Ellie Schuyler

  • Cherry says:

    Of only more states were like California.:)

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