In some places of the US, they already have been banned. Some locations include Westport, Connecticut; Bethel, Alaska; and Edmonds, Washington. Although a proposed ban on plastic bags in California was struck down by the state legislature, some cities have bans on them, including San Francisco, Malibu, Fairfax, and Palo Alto. The most recent places in the US to ban plastic bags include North Carolina’s Outer Banks; Brownsville, Texas; and Hawaii’s Maui and Kauai counties.
The trend in banning or putting forth efforts to decrease the use of plastic bags is rapidly spreading globally, and the US is following suit. I think a nationwide ban may be on its way, but what might be even more likely is a fee policy. China has had great success with attaching a fee to plastic bags. Both Ireland and Washington D.C. saw an 80% decrease of plastic bag distribution within a few months after a 5 cent fee was charged.
Just remember, the making of a paper bag is not sustainable, so reusable bags are the most environmentally responsible. In the Northwestern United States, the use of reusable bags in grocery stores has gone up 400 percent in just a few years, so maybe the US can even look to a paper bag free future.
Some communities in the US have already passed legislation to ban plastic bags. In Hawaii, plastic bags are banned for shoppers in the counties of of Kauai and Maui. However, statewide bans on plastic bags will be difficult to come by. California, which saw the first plastic bag ban in San Francisco in 2007, has seen strong opposition from other areas in the state. Similar opposition is likely to occur throughout the country, reducing the probability of nationwide ban.
Several Fred Meyer stores in Portland, OR are willingly experimenting with plastic-bag free stores. There is no word on how long the tests will last, but it is noteworthy that some companies are one step ahead of legislation.
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