These days, plastic bag bans are showing up all over the State of California. Yesterday, the County of Santa Clara followed in the footsteps of the Cities of San Jose, Santa Monica, Calabasas, and the Counties of Los Angeles and Marin--to name a few--in passing an ordinance restricting the distribution of single-use bags. The ordinances ban single-use plastic bags and place a minimum price requirement on single-use paper bags.
Today, a ban in one grocery store in Carpinteria, CA begins. Unlike the ordinances mentioned, the voluntary ban at the Albertsons grocery store applies to both single-use plastic and paper bags. Customers will have to bring in their own shopping bags, purchase a reusable bag (with available options ranging from 30 cents to $2.49 a bag), or go bagless. Reusable bags were distributed to low-income residents prior to the effective date to help reduce the financial burden on them.
According to the Daily Sound, Carpinteria residents are reported to have mixed emotions about the store’s laudable efforts to raise environmental awareness about plastic bag pollution. Some residents are supportive of a ban that is estimated to reduce bag distribution by 1 million bags each year, while others are more concerned about the inconvenience and higher costs of purchasing bags.
The latter group may not realize that the ban could actually help reduce their grocery bills. The Carpinteria Albertsons location alone spent about $17,000 each year on the single-use bags it distributed in the past. According to a Wall Street Journal article, SuperValu Inc, the operator of Albertsons stores, expects to use its savings from reduced bag distribution to help lower grocery prices and make its stores more competitive.
It’s a growing trend—being green and saving green—that CAW hopes other businesses will recognize and follow in the absense of local or regional solutions to plastic bag litter. For a list of the current local ordinances on bags, and for more information about plastic bag pollution, please visit our website.