Although I cannot say for sure whether the United States will ban plastic bags, there have been reports of several cities who are heading down that path. For instance, in 2007 a legislation was passed in San Francisco, CA of a partial ban on plastics. The goal of the measure is to have people bring their own bags and/or recycled plastic to shop. In addition, recently, the Aspen City Council voted 4 to 1 to ban plastic bags from two grocery stores and to add a 20 cent fee on paper bags to promote the reduction of waste.
To elaborate, plastic bags will likely not be outright banned in the United States. However, cities like Washington, DC and areas like Montgomery County, Maryland, have begun to impose plastic bag taxes, of 5 cents per bag, to encourage the use of reusable sacks
Right now, whether a city chooses to ban plastic bags is a decision made at the local level. There has been some talk of banning plastic bags in my city of Davis, but so far people have not put together the political force to make it happen. However, many people simply refuse plastic bags when they go to grocery stores by taking their own re-usable bags. I am one of those people. I shop by bicycle and ask the people at the store to skip the plastic and put the items directly in my pannier bags and/or backpack. The pannier bags are really great because I don’t have to carry any weight on my back.
Anyway, I went down to Long Beach recently and learned that they had instituted a complete ban on plastic bags. I chatted with a few residents down there, and they were very happy about the ban.
As far as a ban set forth by the federal government on plastic bans, that seems very unlikely. However, I think that more and more cities will enact bans. Take L.A. county for example. In 2010 they banned stores from providing shoppers with plastics bags, aside from those used to prevent contaimination between fruits and veggies. According to the article, the ban is only in unincorporated parts of the county, but that is still a huge step.
I haved worked in retail for about four years, and especially in the past year I have noticed fewer and fewer customers wanting bags. If they buy just a few items or real bulky items, I always ask if they would like a bag and most say no. More people are using those reusable bags now, plus there’s a lot of women who have large purses and men and women alike with backpacks that they can carry their merchandise in.
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