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In 2016, California became the first US state to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags

In August 2014, California became the first state to enact legislation imposing a statewide plastic bag ban on single-use plastic bags at large retail stores. A 10-cent minimum charge was also required by the bill for recycled paper bags at certain locations, and also with reusable plastic bags and compostable bags. The ban was set to take effect on July 1, 2015, but a referendum forced the issue onto the ballot in the November 2016 election. Proposition 67 passed with 52 percent of the vote, meaning the plastic bag ban approved by the Legislature remains the law. A detailed summary of the law can be found below. Voters also rejected a second measure, Proposition 65, which proposed to have a 10-cent charge and gather it all up to create an environmental fund. Proceeds will then be for alternative bags.

California Plastic Bag Law: Where It All Began

Plastic straw bans are becoming more and more rampant these days. YouTube influencers like Bretman Rock promotes the usage of metal straws instead of plastic straws.

California was at the limelight of using less plastic and promoting more sustainable living, even before plastic straw found its way to the forefront.

California pioneered a statewide ban on plastics beginning in 2016, when the state became the first in the U.S. to ban most stores from providing customers with single-use plastic bags, following a successful referendum.

Results And Statistics

Since the California bag law banned most stores from handing out single-use plastic bags to customers, shoppers have not launched or revolted recall campaigns against state lawmakers. Food still gets to people’s houses, wrote the Los Angeles Times’ editorial board. Reusable bags did not contribute to other food-borne illnesses, as some critics suggested they would. Consumers didn’t go broke paying 10 cents apiece for the thicker, reusable plastic bags stores are allowed to distribute instead.


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