Reusable shopping bags have become ubiquitous. They're available at almost every retail store you walk into, but the majority of Americans still aren't using them. That may change soon as more and more cities are taking away the choice and making them a necessity.
On Tuesday, the City of San Jose voted to place a ban on all plastic and paper bags at stores.
The ban won't go into effect until 2011 - after a lengthy environmental review of its impact. This will allow all retailers and consumers to become prepared in time. For stores who still want to offer shoppers a one-time use option, bags made from at least 40 percent recycled materials can be made available, but at a fee.
Other cities, like San Francisco, have banned plastic bags or levied a tax on them, but San Jose is the first to take action on paper ones. China's ban on plastic bags, while not strictly adhered to, still resulted in 40 billion less bags being used and cut their petroleum use by 1.6 million tons.
We might see more cities inacting these types of bans very soon. It seems plastic bags are starting to go the way of the incandescent bulb. In June, the U.N.'s Environment Program Chief called for a global ban on plastic bag production.
written by Carl, February 28, 2010
written by Kritika Nair, April 09, 2012
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