All large grocery stores and pharmacies in the state that offer plastic bags will be required to take them back for recycling under a new state law that takes affect July 1.
CAW-sponsored AB 2449 (Levine, 2006), gives consumers the opportunity to recycle their plastic bags in-store, and also requires retailers to provide reusable bags for sale. Historically, less than 5% of the 19 billion plastic bags used in California annually are recycled. It costs local agencies and ratepayers more than $25 million annually to manage discarded plastic bags and wraps.
This large stream of plastics waste has created headaches for local governments trying to meet waste diversion mandates. Additionally, local governments have paid dearly to cover the cost of cleaning up plastic waste. Southern California cities especially have paid billions in order to meet US EPA Total Maximum Daily Loads For Trash.