Many of us are moving towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle and the mantra “reduce, reuse and recycle” is becoming more popular than ever. Unfortunately, Americans still have a long way to go when it comes to reducing their plastic consumption. The good news: Single-use plastic grocery bags could see the end of the tunnel very soon, starting on the West coast. Soon, California may be the first state to ban the bags.
In a 41 to 27 vote, California’s state assembly recently passed a bill to stop grocery stores from offering plastic bags starting in January 2012. If it’s passed by the state senate, customers would have to use their own reusable bags or pay five cents for a paper bag made from recycled materials.
San Francisco and Washington D.C. have already started charging customers for disposable bags, and for good reason. It’s estimated that Americans use 100 billion plastic bags each yearand only .6 percent are recycled properly.
Here in New York, there are tons of bags strewn across streets and parks, so I think enforcing resusable bag use is a great idea. Usually I bring reusable bags to the grocery store and end up saving money, since many stores give a discount if you bring your own bags. I do forget occasionally, but I wouldn’t mind forking over a few cents in those instances since this is something I’m passionate about.
What do you think? Would you be willing to switch to reusable bags only or would you be okay with paying a nickel for every new bag you used?