A statewide bill, authored by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, could make California the first state in the US to ban plastic bags in grocery, drug and many convenience stores.
On this blog, back in February, I took a trip over to Woodley Park and walked along the LA River where I found a sea of plastic bags hanging on trees, floating along the river bank, and covering the ground.
One of the most prominent bag labels belonged to the Ranch Market, an Asian supermarket with a local store on Sepulveda and Victory. On many shopping trips there, I have been shocked at the amount of plastic bags that are used by the store. If a shopper buys six items, the store will often use six bags to package the goods.
Of course, a ban on plastic bags is opposed by oil companies, Republicans and anybody connected to the petroleum and plastic industries. In the San Jose Mercury News, this quote: “The governor has signaled he’s interested in signing a bill like this,” said Tim Shestek of the American Chemistry Council, a coalition of plastic manufacturers and corporations including Chevron, Dow and ExxonMobil. “So our focus right now is on the Senate and hoping common sense prevails and the bill does not reach the governor.”
The council estimates the ban will threaten 1,000 state manufacturing jobs due to decreased demand. And Shestek said grocery costs will grow “because people are going to have to pay for grocery bags they currently receive for free.”
The council’s ad campaign — dubbed “Stop the Bag Police!” — features a baton-wielding officer and warns the bill “is equivalent to an estimated $1 billion tax increase.””
But any common sense person who sees the environmental damage of plastic bags, would understand that there must be a better and more environmentally safe way to wrap a carton of eggs, a can of deodorant, and a pound of ground beef.