California Becomes The 1st State To Ban The Use Of Plastic Bags For Produce; Newly-Signed Law Goes Into Effect In 2025

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new bill into law on September 30th that will ban the use of plastic bags used for produce beginning in 2025. The move makes California the first state to pass such legislation.

As per the new bill, stores will be prohibited “from providing a precheckout bag to customers if the bag is not either compostable or a recycled paper bag.”

This relates to bags provided to a customer before the customer reaches the point of sale, that are “designed to protect a purchased item from damaging or contaminating other purchased items in a checkout bag, or to contain an unwrapped food item.”

The passage of SB 1046 marks the latest step to prohibit the use of single-use plastic items in California, following the 2016 decision to approve Proposition 67, which, according to a statement from the Attorney General at the time, “was designed to prohibit large grocery stores and pharmacies from providing plastic single-use ‘carryout bags’ and ban small grocery stores, convenience stores, and liquor stores from doing so the following year. It allowed single-use plastic bags for meat, bread, produce, bulk food, and perishable items. The measure required stores to charge 10 cents for recycled, compostable, and reusable grocery bags.”

Proposition 67 augmented a previous law passed in 2014, SB 270, which required that stores provide customers with the opportunity to return clean plastic carryout bags.

As noted by Californians Against Waste, “the average working life of a plastic bag is 15 minutes, and over 100 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide each year.”

The damage that discarded plastic bags does to the environment tragically leaves its mark forever, this contributes to a growing list of threats against marine life that are the result of human ignorance and negligence.

As often reported by WAN, plastic pollution is sadly the cause of death of more than 700 marine species that are killed by either ingesting hazardous material or fishing line entanglement. Among those species, millions of animals such as sea turtles, dolphins, and whales, are killed each year.

There are many ways that people can help keep plastic out of our oceans, ranging from reducing one’s personal use of disposable and single-use plastic items to recycling to participating in local beach cleanups. We can all do our part to make this world a better place.

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