By the way if you listen to our show with One More Generation, you will horror stories of their effort to rid our oceans of mountains of plastic waste choking our species out of existence, and threatening part of our food supply.
Come on, what state is next? Let's go for 50. As Proco Joe Moreno, Alderman of Chicago explained on the show, this good for the economy as well.
Last month, ReNewable Now interviewed Proco Joe Moreno, Alderman of Chicago’s 1st Ward, who was instrumental in getting the city of Chicago to pass an ordinance to ban plastic bags. The efforts to ban plastic bags are growing stronger week-by-week as we see the death of plastic bags now becoming law for the entire state of California.
It's official: California is now the first state in the country to institute a statewide plastic bag ban! Though it took years for state legislators to pass this bill plus an additional month that felt like an eternity for the governor to sign the bill into law, environmentalists can finally rejoice in the knowledge that grocery store plastic bags will soon be a thing of the past.
Analysts expect the legislation will eliminate at least 13 billion plastic bags per year. Don't expect to see a change immediately, however: the ban won't go into effect until next July. Liquor and convenience stores will have until July of 2016 to switch to paper or reusable bags.
Don't expect pandemonium when the bags disappear from stores — plenty of local California communities have proven that it's not nearly the inconvenience that naysayers declare. Approximately 25% of Californians already live in an area where single-use plastic bags are forbidden.
So far, impacted citizens generally approve of the bans. Researchers found that while only 10% of people brought reusable bags before they were removed from stores, around 70% started doing it (or skipping bags altogether) once bags came with a surcharge. Sure, the government had to nudge Californians to act more responsibly, but they met the challenge with few complaints.
That hasn't stopped the plastic bag industry from threatening action. Organizations representing affected companies plan to put a proposition on the ballot two years from now for voters to decide whether the bag ban should be revoked. In the meantime, the group hopes to prevent the ban from taking hold until after voters have their say, though the courts will have to decide if their request holds water.
California hasn't disregarded the plastic bag industry altogether, either. The legislation includes a stipulation for the state to loan millions to companies that produce bags so they can expand their businesses to come up with more sustainable alternatives.
This is no trend, and is going to spread nationally, and globally. So stay on the look out for some great start up companies, and smartentrepreneurs to take advantage of this, as we're sure we'll see an evolution in paper bags, and other things that carry what we like to buy.