California State Legislators are at it again. Although past efforts to pass a plastic grocery bag ban by the state legislature have failed, it may be different this time. AB 158 and SB 405 are going through the legislature. We urge you to contact your state legislators in the California Senate and Assembly. Let them know you oppose a statewide plastic bag ban.
Click on the following link: Find Your California Representative
Some Talking Points Follow:
Plastic bag litter (all sorts of plastic bags) comprise only 0.6% or roadside litter. In comparison, fast food litter is 29.1% of roadside litter. A plastic bag ban will at most eliminate 0.6% of roadside litter leaving the other 99.4% waiting to be picked up. A plastic bag ban will not reduce litter and make for a cleaner city.
AB 158 and SB 405 is not equally applied to all residents. AB 158 and SB 405 creates two different classes of shoppers, one class that is able to receive free paper bags and another class that is required to pay for paper bags. AB 158 and SB 405 creates a new welfare benefit for WIC and SNAP participants. The benefit is provided at the expense of shoppers who pay for paper bags or at the expense of the retailer who will pass the cost of free paper bags on to all shoppers.
The indirect cost of plastic shopping bags for a family of four is less than $20 per year. The cost of paper bags at 10-cents each is about $78.00 per year. The cost of reusable bags is about $250 per year when you include both out of pocket expenses and the cost of a person’s time in handle bags including the time required to wash reusable bags.
Plastic bag bans end up with cutting down more trees for paper bags and actually increase the amount of plastic, paper, and reusable bags ending up in the landfill. In fact, a bag ban increases the amount of material (plastic, paper, and reusable bags) headed for the landfill by as much as factor of four.
Furthermore, based on plastic bag ban results in Santa Monica and San Jose, shoppers rejected reusable bags by choosing paper bags or no bags over reusable bags by a ratio of two-to-one. Clearly, using reusable bags is the wrong solution.