A new bill announced last week would ban all plastic shopping bags in California starting in 2026.
Thin plastic bags are already banned at grocery stores in California, but thicker, reusable plastic bags can still be purchased in stores. Sen. Catherine Blakespear claims that people are not reusing or recycling the thicker plastic bags. Blakespear brings up a study that shows from 2004 to 2021, the amount of plastic shopping bags thrown away per person increased from 8 pounds to 11 pounds per year.
“It shows that the plastic bag ban that we passed in this state in 2014 did not reduce the overall use of plastic. It actually resulted in a substantial increase in plastic,” Blakespear said. “We are literally choking our planet with plastic waste.”