As an environmentally conscience person (which is different from ‘climate change’) I do think humanity needs to be careful with plastic. I have a whole bunch of reusable bags for when I go to Lidl and Aldi. The plastic bags I get from WalMart, Food Lion, and sometimes others I reuse for a wide variety of things. Typically, I am getting a lot more when I go to them, and not that much at Lidl. There’s always Unintended Consequences when government gets involved, and even what’s left of the LA Times newsroom has noticed
It was a decade ago when California became the first state in the nation to ban single-use plastic bags, ushering in a wave of anti-plastic legislation from coast to coast.
But in the years after California seemingly kicked its plastic grocery sack habit, material recovery facilities and environmental activists noticed a peculiar trend: Plastic bag waste by weight was increasing to unprecedented levels.
According to a report by the consumer advocacy group CALPIRG, 157,385 tons of plastic bag waste was discarded in California the year the law was passed. By 2022, however, the tonnage of discarded plastic bags had skyrocketed to 231,072 — a 47% jump. Even accounting for an increase in population, the number rose from 4.08 tons per 1,000 people in 2014 to 5.89 tons per 1,000 people in 2022.
The problem, it turns out, was a section of the law that allowed grocery stores and large retailers to provide thicker, heavier-weight plastic bags to customers for the price of a dime.
He said the bags were made of 20% recyclable material and the manufacturers said they could be recycled at the end of their “useful life. … So we said, all right, fine. We’re gonna put that specific criteria into the law.”
“That experiment failed,” Murray said.
They were most likely made to be reusable. Lidl used to have that type, and I still have a bunch. But, they only last so long, so, they offer better ones, which I also have.
“Basically what happened is that plastic bag companies invented these thicker plastic bags that technically meet that definition of reusable but are clearly not being reused and don’t look like reusable bags and which just circumvent the law’s intent,” said Jenn Engstrom, CALPIRG’S state director.
Wait, the environmentally conscience citizens of the People’s Repulik of California aren’t reusing? Huh.
Now, California legislators are hoping to correct that error by passing a law that closes that loophole and bans those thick plastic bags offered at the checkout line.
I wonder how that will work out? Perhaps stores will start offering more paper bags again? Anyhow, it’s a pretty long piece, worth the read, but, as one of the people in the comments writes
I go to a grocery store in California. I buy meat wrapped in plastic, condiments in plastic containers, cottage cheese in a plastic bucket, toothpaste in a plastic tube, chips in a plastic bag, water or sodas in plastic bottles. Then, I pay for all this plastic with my plastic debit card while the clerk packs my items into the cloth bag I brought with me to save the planet from plastic.
Oops? And, yeah, there is way too much plastic being used. But, what’s the answer? What can be used?
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Author: William Teach
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