California Fails to Ban Plastic Bags, Polystyrene
In a disappointing conclusion to a prolonged debate, California's efforts to pass a bag ban have failed once again, with insufficient support created in the legislature to ensure its passage. According to an article posted on the Plastics News website yesterday, the California Legislature ended its session on August 31st with no Assembly vote on a potential polystyrene ban, and no comment from the Senate on a proposed plastic bag ban. Contributor Mike Versepej states that "that’s the fourth straight year that a PS ban has failed and the sixth straight year that a plastic bag ban has failed."
State legislators have once again postponed their judgement, this time until the year 2020. Despite what appears to be crippling indescision, many California communities have taken matters into their own hands and voted independently to ban plastic bags and polystyrene. According to the article:
The absence of statewide legislation has led 41 California cities and seven counties to bag plastic bag bans. Those communities cover geographic areas that represent 16 percent of the state’s population, according to Californians Against Waste.
In addition, 65 California communities now have bans on expanded PS takeout containers.
Nationwide, the number of communities in the U.S. with plastic bag bans now total 82, including Homer, Alaska, which enacted a ban on single-use plastic bags Aug. 27 that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.
The absence of a more encompassing legislation by the state regarding plastic is frustrating, but California continues to work on its environmental impact via smaller scale rulings on plastic. To learn more about California and its history of plastic legislation, please see the full article on the Plastics News website here.