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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkEditorials | Environmental 

California to Ban Plastic Bags
email this pageprint this pageemail usNick Allen - Los Angeles Times
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June 05, 2010

Plastic bags take five minutes to use and 500 years to decompose. (AP)
California is to become the first US state to ban plastic bags in supermarkets in a move Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called a "great victory for the environment."

Los Angeles - Shoppers will have to bring their own reusable bags or pay at least 5 cents (3p) each for recycled paper ones under the ban which was approved by state politicians.

Californians currently use an estimated 19 billion plastic bags a year, equivalent to 552 for each person, only five per cent of which are reused.

The cities of San Francisco and Malibu had already banned plastic bags and the statewide ban, which also includes pharmacies, grocery stores and liquor stores, is likely to begin at the start of 2012.

Environmentalists said it would help to stop pollution and fouling of beaches but the American Chemistry Council estimated it would amount to a $1 billion (680 million) tax on shoppers and threaten 500 jobs in the plastic bag manufacturing business.

Ted Gaines, a Republican state politician who opposed the ban, said his family would have to spend $50 (34) a year on paper bags.

Julia Brownley, the Democrat who proposed the move, said: "The biggest way to eliminate this kind of pollution is to ban it. Plastic bags take five minutes to use and 500 years to decompose."

•  R E A D E R S '  C O M M E N T S  •

It seems like anytime you leave it up to the politicians they screw it up. As I travel through the United States and Mexico what I see is plastic bottles everywhere and in one swift move the governments could, like we use to have in the old days, charge 5-10 cents per bottle extra when you buy them and when you or whom ever brought them back they would get the 5-10 cents back.

So why can't they do that for the plastic bags too? With the amount of plastic that is floating around out there, people could supplement their income by just picking up plastic bags and turning them in for the refund. No more bags floating around and no more plastic bottles.

Gee whiz, what a concept! The people who don't want to return the items don't have to because there will be somebody else who can use the money and they will turn them in. Just look at how much aluminum is out there. That's because of the recycling and the money the people who recycle get.
- renthusband(at)

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