California Attempting Plastic Ban After It Failed the First Time

Legislators in California are considering new approaches to the plastic bag ban.  

After the prohibition did not succeed in reducing pollution, the state legislature decided to do away with reusable plastic bags, as mentioned in the report. The bill‘s author, Democrat State Senator Catherine Blakespear, released a statement in which she admitted that the prohibition in California has not been as expected and that, regrettably, the amount of plastic bag trash in the state had grown substantially since the ban was implemented.

Two laws would ban supermarkets from supplying consumers with reusable bags manufactured from plastic film, and the California State Senate and State Assembly voted in support of these measures in late May. The bill would make it legal for businesses to provide customers with the option to use cloth or other non-plastic reusable bags.

After banning plastic bags in 2022, New Jersey also learned its lesson. The use of single-use plastic bags decreased by 60% as a result of the prohibition. However, the need to produce substitutes caused a nearly 300 percent spike in plastic usage.

Energy-intensive chemical processes might cause a significant rise in greenhouse gas emissions if efforts are made to recycle more plastic.

An increasingly popular technique of recycling plastics in the US is chemical recycling. This process involves heating and pressurizing polymers to break them down, but it is also an emissions-heavy option.

Chemical Market Analytics, a plastics industry analytics firm, has found that efforts to increase recycling rates will inevitably lead to a greater surge in the use of chemical-based recycling techniques, which in turn will cause a bigger surge in emissions.

According to Blakespear, reusable plastic bags are seldom recycled or reused because of how difficult they are to recycle. The usual disposal time for one of these bags is twelve minutes.

Additionally, The California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) brought attention to the fact that reusable plastic bags do not lessen pollution. The group noted that, despite the prohibition, the amount of plastic bag trash has increased by 47% since 2014. According to Jenn Engstrom, the state director of CALPIRG, the present bag ban in California is obviously ineffective since it permits companies to substitute thin plastic bags with reusable ones at checkout.