Despite a 15-year statewide effort in California, recycling plastic bags has failed. In fact, the California Integrated Waste Management Board estimates that less than 5% of all single-use plastic bags in the state are actually recycled. Most of the time, these bags end up in landfills, litter the landscape, pollute our river and creeks, and jam recycling equipment.
According to Californians Against Waste, cities and counties that instituted a single-use plastic bag ban (including a fee for paper bags) have seen single-use plastic bag use decrease by 95%, paper bag use decrease by 30%, and plastic litter in waterways decrease by 60%.
Read all of the FAQs here.
WHEN DOES THE ORDINANCE GO INTO EFFECT?
The Single-Use Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance goes into effect on January 1, 2016.
Single-use, plastic carryout bag means any bag less than 2.25 millimeters thick that is made predominately of plastic derived from petroleum or bio-based sources (such as corn or other plant source). These bags include compostable, non-compostable, and biodegradable plastic bags. These bags are typically made with handles, and can be found at most retail stores.
Bags used within stores where health, safety and moisture may be a concern will not be affected (including bags for produce, bulk foods, meat, seafood, flowers and other similar uses). In addition, home delivery bags for newspapers, dry cleaning and plastic bags sold in packages (for garbage or pet waste) are allowed. Plastic bags for take-out orders from restaurants are permitted.
- Recology American Canyon - RecologyAmericanCanyon.org
- Californians Against Waste - CAWRecycles.org
- Napa Valley CanDo - NVCanDo.org
- Clean Seas Coalition - CleanSeasCoalition.org
- Green Cities California - greenCitiesCalifornia.org
- Reusit.com - Reusit.com
- I Got My Bag - IGotMyBag.org
- Bag It - The Movie - bagitmovie.com