- The controversial proposed bag ban in California is now a law, thanks to a signature from Governor Jerry Brown (D).
- Senate Bill 270 marks the first state ban in the nation to outlaw single-use plastic bags.
- Under the law, grocery stores and pharmacies cannot distribute plastic shopping bags beginning on July 1, 2015. Convenience and liquor stores must also comply in 2016.
Golden State stores can still sell paper, reusable bags, and compostable bags for a minimum of 10 cents each under the new law. More than 125 cities and counties across the state have already implemented their own bag ban ordinances.
The bag ban is expected to bring with it an increase in business for some plastic bag manufacturers. In April, Encore Recycling said it would quadruple its workforce to keep up with rising demand should the statewide ban pass.
"This bill is a step in the right direction," said Gov. Brown of the law. "It reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks, and even the vast ocean itself. We’re the first to ban these bags, and we won’t be the last.”
In April, city aldermen in Chicago voted to ban plastic bans in the city beginning in August 2015. An overwhelming majority voted to eradicate the use of plastic shopping bags at the retail level.