California Becomes the First State to Pass Statewide Ban on Plastic Bags


Angry Davis residents can no longer threaten to drive to Woodland or Dixon to acquire plastic bags. A little over a month after it looked like a statewide ban had died in the Assembly, failing to overcome a coalition of opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats, and after the plastic and paper bag manufacturers mounted a vigorous late campaign to overcome strong support from environmentalists and grocers who supported the proposal, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 270 into law on Tuesday.

The Assembly ended up, on a reconsideration, passing the statewide ban on single use plastic bags with 44 votes, after reaching an agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers.

The governor was widely expected this week to sign the law, as it would align state law with ordinances passed by a growing number of local governments in California to reduce plastic waste.

“This bill is a step in the right direction – it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself,” said Governor Brown. “We’re the first to ban these bags, and we won’t be the last.”

The legislation, authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), prohibits grocery stores and pharmacies from distributing single-use plastic bags after July 2015 and enacts the same ban for convenience stores and liquor stores the following year. It will also provide up to $2 million in competitive loans – administered by CalRecycle – to businesses transitioning to the manufacture of reusable bags.

Thus far, over 120 local governments in California have passed ordinances banning single-use bags in some fashion, with widespread support from community and environmental groups. SB 270 is supported by many of these same groups, along with local governments, businesses and labor organizations.

“I applaud Governor Brown for signing SB 270 into law. He continues to lead our state forward with a commitment to sustainability,” Senator Padilla said.

“A throw-away society is not sustainable. This new law will greatly reduce the flow of billions of single-use plastic bags that litter our communities and harm our environment each year. Moving from single-use plastic bags to reusable bags is common sense. Governor Brown’s signature reflects our commitment to protect the environment and reduce government costs,” Senator Padilla added.

Each year, more than 13 billion single-use plastic bags are handed out by retailers. According to CalRecycle, just 3% are actually recycled in California. Plastic bags cause litter, slow sorting and jam machinery at recycling centers. The combined cost of single-use plastic bags to California consumers and state and local government for use, clean-up and disposal is estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars annually. SB 270 phases out single-use plastic bags in California grocery stores, convenience stores, liquor stores and pharmacies.

Ninety-eight local governments throughout the state have already adopted plastic bag ban ordinances covering more than 127 cities and counties. In doing so, many of these communities have eliminated the significant costs associated with plastic bags, and have substantially reduced the volume of bags entering landfills. The bill will save local governments millions of dollars annually.

Single-use plastic bags are also harmful to the environment, killing thousands of birds, turtles and other species. A study commissioned by the US Marine Debris Monitoring Program found that single-use plastic bags remain one of the top items found consistently during annual beach cleanups. Additionally, plastic items are estimated to compose 60-80% of all marine debris and 90% of all floating debris worldwide.

The new law will:

  • Prohibit, beginning July 1, 2015, grocery stores and pharmacies from making available single-use plastic bags.
  • Prohibit, beginning July 1, 2016, convenience stores and liquor stores from making available single-use plastic bags.
  • Grandfather in existing local ordinances.
  • Provide up to $2 million in competitive loans to businesses transitioning to the manufacture of reusable bags.

“Single-use plastic bags litter our beaches, our mountains, deserts, rivers, streams and lakes. SB 270 addresses this problem while striking the right balance. It protects the environment as well as California jobs as we transition to reusable bags and a greener economy,” said Senator Alex Padilla.

“The California coast is a national treasure and a calling card for the world, helping us attract visitors and business from around the globe. Removing the harmful blight of single-use plastic bags, especially along our coastline and waterways, helps ensure the kind of clean and healthy environment we need to have a stronger economy and a brighter future,” said Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins.

“SB 270 is a win-win for the environment and for California workers. We are doing away with the scourge of single-use plastic bags and closing the loop on the plastic waste stream, all while maintaining – and growing – California jobs. As we further develop our green economy, SB 270 will be a model for balancing the health of the planet with the preservation of people’s livelihoods,” said Senate President Pro Tem-elect Kevin de Leόn, a joint author of the bill.

“This bill protects our environment by reducing plastic in our waste stream, and provides resources for California bag manufacturers to retrain their workers and re-engineer their operations to make plastic bags meet new, environmentally sound criteria. It’s a win for the environment, a win for manufacturers and a win for jobs,” said Senator Ricardo Lara.

“For nearly 10 million Californians, life without plastic grocery bags is already a reality. Bag bans reduce plastic pollution and waste, lower bag costs at grocery stores, and now we’re seeing job growth in California at facilities that produce better alternatives,” said Californians Against Waste executive director Mark Murray.

“California is the first state in the U.S. to ban the most ubiquitous consumer item on the planet, in an effort to drive consumers towards sustainable behavior change. Data from the over 127 local plastic bag bans has proven that bans are effective at reducing litter and changing consumer attitudes, and have refuted industry’s claims of apocalyptic impacts on jobs and poor communities. A state plastic bag ban saves taxpayers the huge amount of money spent on litter cleanup, and protects the environment,” said Clean Seas Coalition and Seventh Generation Advisors director Leslie Tamminen.

“SB 270 is a great victory for all of California. We’ve seen locally that plastic bag bans lead to cleaner water and healthier wildlife, keeping trash off our beaches and out of our creeks. The success of bag bans in our local communities has empowered state legislators to make the right decision for the health of California’s waterways. Governor Brown’s signature of this statewide bag ban is an important moment for our state, demonstrating that California is once again willing to take the lead on important environmental issues,” said Save the Bay executive director David Lewis.

As Davis’ ordinance is more stringent than the statewide ordinance, it will remain in effect. The Davis ordinance took place on July 1, in which local stores have been prohibited from distributing the single-use plastic bags and are required to charge at least 10 cents for a paper bag.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

85 thoughts on “California Becomes the First State to Pass Statewide Ban on Plastic Bags”

  1. Frankly

    This is actually good because it will result in a law suit and the courts will finally have to decide if this irrational BS needs to be struck down.

    Things like this cause me to lose respect for liberals because there is no rational argument to be made in support of this demand of theirs. How can you cooperate with people lacking the ability to think and act rationally? Paper bags cause more damage to the environment than do plastic bags. Except for coastal areas where the plastic can harm sea life, consumers and retailers should have the freedom to choose based on their own environmental conscious.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      There have been lawsuits in most jurisdictions that have had plastic bag bans. So the legality has already primarily been settled.

      1. Frankly

        Not statewide. And the plastic bag industry now has the big fight to fight, and there will be lawsuits files that they didn’t see as worthwhile at the community level. I think there is a possibility that this will be killed because it is an essential freedom and the science does not back it up.

        1. Barack Palin

          “A national coalition of plastic bag manufacturers immediately said it would seek a voter referendum to repeal the law, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2015.”

          I think a referendum would have a great chance of succeeding. If you read the comment section at the bottom of this article you’ll see the public that is against this dumb law highly outnumber those for it.


          1. David Greenwald Post author

            The referendum wouldn’t repeal local ordinances, so most people in the state will be unaffected by the new law.

        2. hpierce

          An “essential freedom”? I think not. A law to require people to do something that most would be willing to do is educated and motivated? Perhaps. I dislike the coercive nature of it . Our family have used “alternate” bags for years, based on our own convenience and preference. I am loathe to require that others copy us if it does not fit their needs. Part of me wants to bend the law whenever possible… but then I’d have to spend more of MY energy to NOT DO things I have long chosen to.

          The science and economics are both lacking to make this a societal imperative, in my view.

          1. Barack Palin

            No, but I think a store being allowed to distribute plastic or paper bags for free should be their essential freedom.
            Why should the stores be mandated to charge a fee?

          2. David Greenwald Post author

            Stores have generally been in favor of the move, it’s the plastic manufacturers that have been against it.

          3. Barack Palin

            Yes many stores are in favor of the move because it’s a revenue generator for them, they could give a rat’s ass about any environmental effects. This should’ve been left up to the free market, if a store wanted to charge or give them for free that should’ve been their choice.

        3. Tia Will

          “it is an essential freedom”

          What is an “essential freedom” ? The right to manufacture what ever you want ? The right to give away free stuff of any kind you want ? The right to use a specific type of plastic bag ? What exactly do you see as an “essential freedom ” here ?

          It really isn’t enough to declare that every policy that you do not like is irrational. You really do have to have something to back up your claims. I am truly perplexed by this statement. Can you clarify ?

          1. Barack Palin

            The right to charge (or give away) a product should be up to the discretion of the store, not mandated by any ordinance. It’s a plastic or paper bag, we’re not talking about giving away guns here or anything of that sort.

          2. Frankly

            The freedom of a merchant to provide a reasonable container to customers to transport the goods they purchased. The freedom of a customer to request and be provided a reasonable container of their choice.

            Basically it is a freedom of commerce issue.

            And it is also a separation of church and state issue.

            Godless liberals satiate their human need for spiritualism using their ideology. They approach environmental issues like religious zealots. Plastic bag bans are just the liberal group forcing everyone else to subscribe to their liberal religion. This is really no different than traditionally religious people banning condoms. Neither ban can be proved to help humanity… so it would only be one group pushing their religious worldview over the other.

          3. Frankly

            Oops. I should have written “secular liberals” instead of “Godless liberals”.

            Need that edit button!

      2. South of Davis

        David wrote:

        > There have been lawsuits in most jurisdictions that
        > have had plastic bag bans.

        As far as I know there has not been a bag ban in a Wal Mart (mostly poor people that almost all use plastic bags) town and all the bag bans have been in Whole Foods (rich people with “I Love Yoga” re-usable canvas bags) towns so it has not been worth it to pay for a lawsuit.

        > So the legality has already primarily been settled.

        If someone waits 90 days to file a lawsuit it does not mean “the legality has already primarily been settled”…

          1. South of Davis

            David wrote:

            > LA has tons of Wal Marts

            I didn’t know they got any open in LA (for years the unions kept them out).

            Looking at the list of “bag ban” cities the average home price is WAY over a million and they are way more Whole Foods than Wal Mart cities including Carmel, Fairfax, Los Gatos, Malibu, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Portola Valley.

            Davis is actually one of the “poorer” cities to have a bag ban.

    2. Tia Will


      Once again, you are framing this as a dichotomy between plastic and paper bags.
      This is a false dichotomy. Heavy duty plastic, cloth, canvas bags which can by the way be kept clean and neatly folded with minimal effort, and hands can all be used instead of single use bags. Do you honestly feel that these other choices are not more environmentally friendly or are you just having fun jerking people’s chains with the same false claims ?

      1. Frankly

        Read what I wrote.

        I will wager you today that in less than 3 years of this madness we will have the problem of sub $.50 “reuseable” bags and they will be frequently purchased at the store and tossed when they accumulate at home.

        And your prize social do-gooder legislation did nothing to convert people away from paper. And paper is worse for the environment.

        And Don is full of BS showing his one little rolled up bag. I use at least three bags every shopping trip, and often more than five. When we do “big shopping” as my wife calls it, we need 8-10 bags. So now we have to find a place to store 8-10 bags in our cars.

        What is more than frustrating is the lemming march lacking facts or common sense to back it up. For some reason it feels good to some people to force other people to live like they think everyone should live… even if what they demand does not make any sense.

  2. Sam

    Just curious, has anyone see someone come back to the grocery store with those heavy multi use plastic bags they purchased from a previous trip? I have only seen people buying them but not reusing them. Has the percentage of people who bring their own bags gone up in Davis in the last few months?

    1. Barack Palin

      I now have reusable bags but I always seem forget them either by leaving them in my truck or at home. In fact I hear and see that all the time at checkout counters so the fact is this bag charge is a defacto charge that hits many consumers in the pocket.

      1. Tia Will

        BP and Anon

        As self declared centrist or right of center, do you really believe that our environment which we all share be adversely affected by your forgetfulness ( or mine for that matter) ? I have been under the impression that much of your world view centers around personal responsibility.
        So how about if we all fully own the responsibility for the impacts of our own choices. If I forget my bag, I pay the price. Nothing wrong with that
        from the personal responsibility point of view.

        1. South of Davis

          Tia wrote:

          > If I forget my bag, I pay the price. Nothing wrong with that

          The problem is that the new laws only punish the people liberals hate, via the new bag tax, cigarette tax, paint tax, lumber tax, etc…

          Why don’t we charge $0.10 for every paper cup a soy latte or chi tea is in, tax yoga mats, Crocks or anything “organic”…

          1. Tia Will

            South of Davis

            “The problem is that the new laws only punish the people liberals hate, via the new bag tax, cigarette tax, paint tax, lumber tax, etc…”

            Why do you assume that liberals “hate ” anyone ? I strongly dislike behaviors that are detrimental to health ( tobacco) or the environment ( many plastics, automobiles, our relentlessly consumer based wasteful habits) but I do not “hate” anyone.
            And, I would be fine with a charge on any of the above items.

            I also take exception to your view that making a reasonable contribution to the overall well being of the community for items that we choose to use is “punishment”. I am seeing one positive trend in which I participated tonight. I went to the grocery store and only needed to purchase 3 items. When asked if I wanted a bag, my answer was no. The gentleman ahead of me had made the same choice for his few selections. For small numbers of items hands work just fine and I am seeing more and more people choosing this painless and environmentally friendly option.

        2. Frankly

          Too late for the personal responsibility argument when the liberal collective implements another top-down rule to live by with zero justification other than liberal and collectivists like telling everyone else how to live.

          For example, I think many liberals believe that driving an unwashed car cluttered with several reusable grocery bags in the back seat is a sign of proud righteousness and they think it is fine to push for rules that make everyone else be just like them. They do this for two reasons:

          One – they tend to be elitists and actually think they are blessed with bigger brains and greater education, and all the other people are minions that need their leadership and direction.

          Two – they run on a razor’s edge of potential insecurity and resentment around those that choose to live differently. Many liberals seem to run on energy from being worried about being left behind, or being made to feel outside of the box of normal and so they constantly strive to “progress” by redefining normal to reduce their own personal anxiety. This is why liberals connect so well with the disenfranchised. They too feel anxious that they will be left behind and feel outside the box of normal, so they work with liberals to try and “progress” society to something that makes them feel more “normal”.

          The problem is when the new normal being pursued is really not a positive advancement. When we dumb down the system to meet the lower common demonstrators of “feel good” or “don’t feel bad” rather educate and develop and set higher expectations for people.

          The correct solution for plastic bags was to educated on the facts of the environmental impacts of the alternatives, and educate the population to make good choices.

          But that type of approach just makes many liberals more anxious.

          1. Tia Will


            “Too late for the personal responsibility argument ”

            It may be too late for the argument…..but it is never too late for personal responsibility.
            Once again you have made up all kinds of bogus reasons for why liberals to things. I have no doubt that you believe your nonsense just as I have no doubt that that is exactly what it is.

    1. Barack Palin

      “Don Shor
      November 27, 2011 at 11:47 am

      “Environmental wackos” is a term popularized by Rush LImbaugh. I”m surprised he hasn’t trademarked it. The Republican party has certainly strayed a long way from the conservationist ethos espoused by Teddy Roosevelt.

      This proposal is very benign compared to the original one. At least I won’t be having to send my customers home with their bat guano or spinosad in their cloth grocery bags. It applies only to the largest stores, and still allow for paper bags. I opposed the original proposal. This one is fine with me, for the rather self-centered reason that my store is exempt.”

      1. Don Shor

        Yes. I opposed the original draft of the ordinance. Overall I was fine with it so long as merchants didn’t have to fill out any paperwork.
        I don’t give out bags at my store, by the way. But trunk liners are free, and not affected by any ordinance.

        1. Barack Palin

          “But trunk liners are free, and not affected by any ordinance.”

          Yes Don, it’s great for you and your customers that the plastic liners are “exempt” from the ordinance.

    1. Barack Palin

      Get ready to pay for disposable cups at your local coffee shop. Plastic forks, disposable plates, takeout containers won’t be far behind. We could get away from the charges if we all walked around carrying metal utensils in our pockets and purses.

  3. Frankly

    In July 2011, the Los Angeles County bag ban took effect for large grocery
    and retail stores in some areas of the county. In January 2012, the ban took
    effect for smaller grocery and convenience stores. The ban did not apply to
    any stores in incorporated areas of Los Angeles County. The National Center
    for Policy Analysis conducted a survey of store managers in both areas,
    regarding the plastic bag ban. This study reports those results.
    The purpose of the survey was to determine the effects of the ban on sales
    and employment at the stores affected by the ban. The study also sought
    to determine if consumers changed their shopping behavior by increasing
    purchases at stores that could still offer plastic bags. The survey found
    that following full implementation of the ban, sales increased at stores in
    incorporated cities compared with stores in unincorporated areas. Of these
    respondents to the survey affected by the ban:

    ■ Over a one-year period (pre- and post-bag ban), 60 percent of stores in
    incorporated areas reported an increase in sales averaging 9 percent.

    ■ Four-fifths of the stores in the unincorporated areas reported a decrease in
    sales averaging, –5.7 percent.

    Examining the overall change in sales of all the stores that responded
    among the two groups (incorporated versus unincorporated):

    ■ Incorporated stores experienced an increase in sales of 3.4 percent.

    ■ However, unincorporated stores reported a decline in sales of –3.3

    The ban negatively affected employment at stores inside the ban area.
    While every store inside the ban area was forced to terminate some of its
    staff, not a single store outside the ban area dismissed any staff. Stores inside
    the ban area reduced their employment by more than
    10 percent. Stores outside the ban area increased their
    employment by 2.4 percent.

    Banning plastic bags does nothing for the environment since the alternative paper is worse for the environment. And with a state ban, due to the economies of scale spurred by demand for “reusables” the price will come down to the point that people just throw them away too… but at an even larger environmental cost.

    So we add up the increased environmental harm to the economic harm, and plastic bag bans are stupid, stupid, stupid…. but hey, we like in the stupid state.

    1. Don Shor

      So that study raises the rather obvious question of what would have happened if they had banned bags in both the city and the unincorporated areas at the same time.

      1. Frankly

        Economic reduction for all!

        Which really does meet the liberal progressive worldview that it better for us all to be completely equal in outcomes even if the average misery increases.

          1. Frankly

            It does if we assume that banning plastic bags results in lower sales. And why would we not assume it based on this study?

          2. Don Shor

            Because I assumed the supposed change in sales was due to people going to unincorporated areas to buy their goods. You know, the way you threaten to take your shopping to Woodland for various reasons. This was the premise from your quote:

            The study also sought
            to determine if consumers changed their shopping behavior by increasing
            purchases at stores that could still offer plastic bags.

        1. Frankly

          Ok, but you are assuming in-elasticity in the sales of the products that would be carried in plastic bags. Isn’t it feasible to assume that shoppers, lacking their own reusable bags, and unwilling to pay for a great number of $10 bags, would reduce the amount of product they purchase?

          I think this is very likely.

          You are making the case that if we eliminate complete choice then consumers would maintain their overall buying habits. I disagree. I think you are eliminating a convenience and it will change shopping habits in general.

          Personally, I don’t carry reusable bags in my truck because I am someone that likes a clean vehicle and I don’t have storage room in my truck. And I hate paper bags. They rip easy, they are harder to carry, they take up more space at home, I don’t reuse them so they end up going to recycle, they are a fire hazard, on and on and on… So if I am going shopping I will purchase less that I would before the glory days of free multi-use thin-film grocery bags.

          My wife has to do more of the shopping (because she seems to be okay with a more messy car with 20 primary color ugly multi-use shopping bags scattered all over the back seat), and we tend to make more trips to the the store… another great thing for the environment.

          Now maybe I am not the normal shopper… but I suspect there are enough like me that would add up to lower sales. I basically feels like the stores are less customer-friendly and I have less motivation to buy things from them… even though it is not their fault.

          1. Barack Palin

            Frankly, there’s been a few times I’ve walked into stores and realised I’d forgotten my bags and just decided to buy a few items that I could carry out.

          2. Don Shor

            What you think is “likely” is irrelevant. That is not what the authors of the study were seeking to determine. They were focused on the migration of commerce:

            These were the only two choices county leaders considered. They failed to consider a third option: that consumers would shop at stores unaffected by the ban — that is, stores in the incorporated areas of Los Angeles County. They did not consider the possibility that commerce would migrate, or be displaced, due to the law. In order to determine the effectiveness and consequences of the Los Angeles County plastic bag ban, the NCPA conducted a survey of 80 large stores (supermarkets and variety stores) affected by the ban beginning in July 2011. Additionally, each large store in unincorporated Los Angeles County was matched with one or two other stores within two miles and also in an incorporated area. The stores were matched in order to compare the effect of any displacement of commerce due to the ban.

            That is what this conservative think tank set out to prove, and — mirabile dictu! — they proved it.

          3. Frankly

            Don – you are splitting hairs beyond what is useful.

            The purpose of the survey was to determine the effects of the ban on sales
            and employment at the stores affected by the ban. The study also sought
            to determine if consumers changed their shopping behavior by increasing
            purchases at stores that could still offer plastic bags.

            Their conclusion:

            Banning or taxing such bags reduces economic activity and increases unemployment.


            However, plastic bags are less harmful to the environment than either paper or reusable bags. There are no economic or environmental reasons for banning or taxing plastic bags.

            And this is absolutely true.

          4. Don Shor

            … and maybe you should read the study you posted more carefully. I wasn’t splitting hairs. They wouldn’t have carefully paired the stores in their study unless they were assessing economic migration. And they say that is what they were doing.

          5. Don Shor

            My point in all this, since it isn’t really a topic I care deeply about, is that I agree with Mark West that it is better as a statewide law. That reduces the small localized dislocations that the study you posted seem to address caused by economic migration in adjoining areas with different policies. I have looked before at the study about cloth bags vs. paper vs. plastic, and find some of the underlying assumptions questionable. As to which is environmentally better, that depends on the source of energy used in the production of the paper. And seriously, this is just not that big an issue.

          6. Frankly

            Don: they were assessing economic migration. And they say that is what they were doing.

            No, there were doing a study to prove:

            Banning or taxing such bags reduces economic activity and increases unemployment.

            That is the conclusion of the study. That is my point. And you want to argue it even though it is clearly there on page two… the last paragraph of the executive.

            I will give you this… you do like to read in detail. But then you are only reading to try to find something to bolster your position and ignore the other stuff.

          7. Don Shor

            But obviously it doesn’t reduce economic activity, since the sales were up in the unincorporated areas next to the ban. Which they were. So their conclusion is narrowly drawn, even as their own introduction explains otherwise. I attribute their interpretation to their political bias. Their results speak for themselves.

          8. Don Shor

            “Over a one-year period (pre and post-bag ban), 60 percent of stores in incorporated areas reported an increase in sales averaging 9 percent.”

          9. Frankly

            Anyone who can fold fitted sheets can do better than that!

            LOL. I just told her you said that. NOW you are in trouble!

            Before this car she used to keep them in the back with the dog that she drove to the park and back every day. That was fun grabbing the broccoli out of the refrig covered in white dog hair.

          10. Frankly

            So their conclusion is narrowly drawn, even as their own introduction explains otherwise. I attribute their interpretation to their political bias. Their results speak for themselves.

            Great… so you tell me what I THINK about the study is irrelevant even though it was the conclusion of the study… and then you go draw your own conclusion using their study and claim their conclusion is irrelevant.

            I get it.

          11. Don Shor

            Look…at…their…numbers. Please explain the 9% increase in sales in the unincorporated areas. See Figure 1.

          12. Don Shor

            “Though a variety of factors
            influence sales, the survey results
            are consistent with a shift in
            consumer purchases from stores in
            unincorporated areas affected by the
            ban to stores in incorporated areas
            that were not affected by the ban.”

          13. Frankly

            Please explain the 9% increase in sales in the unincorporated areas. See Figure 1.

            Fine, but you can’t make the leap to say that having no plastic bag options that all stores would go back to equal higher sales. It is just as possible that over all sales would be consistent for all the non-bag stores. That is the point being made… not that there was shifting that would return if everyone store was punished with the no-bag rules, but that no-bag results in people looking for the alternative and having none they will buy less.

            That was the point about grocery sales being quite elastic because much of what people purchase are not necessities. But if the convenience of purchasing those non necessities falls, then people will buy fewer non-necessities.

            Hence the loss of sales and the loss of jobs.

          14. Tia Will


            “t feasible to assume that shoppers, lacking their own reusable bags, and unwilling to pay for a great number of $10 bags, would reduce the amount of product they purchase?”

            If the shopper is so easily deterred from making his purchases that he decides the lack of his favored bag will prevent him from buying, I suspect that he probably did not want or need the items very badly in the first place. If he then chooses not to buy, perhaps that is the better decision for him. Who are we to decide ?

    2. Tia Will

      “since the alternative paper …”

      However, this is not the only alternative. The use of hands, net bags, cloth bags of various varieties, and the use of heavy duty multiple use plastics are not affected by this rather narrow law. It is easy to make up a false dichotomy and then expound on how the only alternative is worse. Problem is that simply is not the case.

  4. Dave Hart

    Just when I thought it was safe to go to the blog and not worry about sloshing through the pools of tears shed by the plasticbagophiles, Jerry Brown has to stir it all up again. So, it’s been 15 years since we shifted to our washable cloth bags. What a giant non-controversy that, if put to the voters, will probably result in the rollback of common sense after the plastic bag manufacturers (euphemistically called the American Progressive Bag Alliance) spend millions of dollars crafting their emotional appeal to Californians who don’t want to be responsible for themselves when they go to the store.

  5. Mark West

    This was always more appropriately a State wide issue and not a local one, and now that the State has acted we know that all the time spent fighting over the ban in Davis was time that would have been better used addressing our fiscal problems.

  6. Anon

    1) Paper bags are more damaging to the environment than plastic bags; and 10 cents a bag is a significant cost to the low income, but will not be a deterrent for most folks – in other words paper bags will now be substituted for plastic bags and used about as much.
    2) Liberals latch onto plastic bag bans and the like to distract from the real political issues of the day like the economy, just as conservatives latch onto their pet issues to distract from the real issues.
    3) Once such a ban is passed, there has to be a search for another thing to ban, to distract from the actual problems in society.
    4) My guess is that this plastic bag ban ultimately will have no/negligible effect on the environment.

    1. Dave Hart

      1) Environmentally you make the argument for using cloth bags instead of paper. I agree. Financially you make the argument for using cloth bags instead of paying for paper bags. Poor folks will probably figure out that they can use a discarded pillow case rather than pay for paper.
      2) Are plastic bags any more of a liberal distraction from bigger political issues than a ban on abortion or fighting a ban on assault weapons are as a conservative distraction from the bigger issues? Depends on your perspective, I suppose.
      3) Conservatives will also come up with similar distractions.
      4) I have no idea how you can make the “no/negligible effect” argument. The materials, water, electricity, chemicals to make the brown paper and glue it together, shipping energy inputs are obviously greater for a single use product. Research paper production.

      1. Anon

        At 10 cents a bag, an awful lot of folks will not bother bringing a cloth bag. What’s an extra 50 cents on their grocery bill? So I think it is very likely the result will be the high use of paper bags, which are much less friendly to the environment than plastic bags. And I suspect that there will be a negligible effect from banning the plastic bags, because my guess is they were not much of a problem in the first place. Now that there is a plastic bag ban, liberals are going to have to find another item to ban, to distract from the economic issues, just as conservatives will find their silly issues to distract the public. So my prediction is that with the plastic bag ban, the environment will be worse off. Hopefully I will be proved wrong.

      1. Barack Palin

        Okay, using your logic how come my grocery bill is still going higher when we now have to pay for bags? I know, you’re going to say my bill would be even higher, but do you really believe all Davis grocery stores let their new windfall bag revenue trickle back to the customers?

    2. South of Davis

      Anon wrote:

      > Liberals latch onto plastic bag bans and the like to distract from the real
      > political issues of the day like the economy, just as conservatives latch
      > onto their pet issues to distract from the real issues.

      Great post as long as most of the left is focused on bag bans and most of the right is trying end school prayer bans (and Obamacare) few will notice the millions of taxpayer money given to friends and family of the politicians elected by the left AND right (who pretend to “fight” with each other the same way the WWE “wrestlers” pretend to “fight” with each other)…

  7. Tia Will

    “And your prize social do-gooder legislation did nothing to convert people away from paper. And paper is worse for the environment.”

    Since the legislation is so new here, we do not have any idea whether or not it will have the intended effect. Maybe we should given it a chance before we laud or condemn it. We have no idea whether or not people will also turn away from paper as they become more in tune with the change and become more proficient with using just their hands or other multi use bags.
    Change frequently takes a while to take effect. Just because you hold a belief firmly does not mean that your belief is accurate any more than when I do the same.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for