On August 31, 2010, the California State Senate rejected the proposal banning single-use plastic bags. It would have been the first statewide ban on plastic bags in the U.S.
Too costly for California’s weak economy, the proposal would have eliminated at least 1,000 jobs in the state and encouraged a switch to paper bags which leave a larger environmental footprint than plastic bags.
If passed, plastic bags would have been banned from groceries and pharmacies in 2012, liquor and convenience stores in 2013. Consumers would have been taxed up to 6 cents per paper bag distributed. The bill would have encouraged consumers to buy taxable, non-recyclable imported reusable bags. Ironically, the majority of these are made from non-woven plastic and are not easily recycled. Questions about the safety of non-woven polypropylene reusable bags have also been raised; in fact, Wegmans supermarket chain is pulling some of its imported reusable bags due to high levels of lead.
San Francisco, Malibu and some additional California communities have banned single-use plastic bags. Other states are investigating the issue. A new law will take effect on October 1 for North Carolina’s Outer Banks. It will ban all retail use of plastic bags. The use of 40% recycled paper bags is mandated and retailers must offer cash refunds to customers using reusable bags. Fines may range from $100 to $500 per violation.
Many Outer Bank merchants are unhappy with this new law. Nashville Wraps’ customer Lisa Penosky owner of Puparazzi stated, “They are forcing us to go to reusable bags, which is really going to hurt small businesses!”
At Nashville Wraps we are concerned with the negative effect these bans may have on our customers and our environment. We are partnering with our vendors to educate the public about the plastic bag truth, not the misleading clichés and generalizations we all hear about them. Our supplier of recycled plastic bags, Command Packaging, believes if consumers truly want to reduce waste and lower their carbon footprint, the best long-term solution is to choose bags and other packaging materials that are reusable, 100% recyclable, and made in the U.S.
If we buy the hype and not the truth about retail bags, we’ll just be replacing one form of bag with another that carries a higher price tag for businesses, the consumer and the environment.
Educating the public on the truth about plastic bags and recycling is our goal at Nashville Wraps. See more on this subject in our blog below:
Reusable Bags – A Health Risk?
Reusable Shopping Bags – The Green Truth
Recycled Plastic Bags from Trash
Reusable Shopping Bags – Not so Eco-Friendly
The Ultimate Reusable Bag
Reusable Bags & Green Economics
No Ban on Plastic Bags by California Court