State Senate Rejects “Anti Plastic Bags” Bill

Today, the California State Senate voted against enacting AB 1998, which would have done away with the option to distribute plastic bags at point-of-sale retail locations.

Did you know Manhattan Beach already voted to adopt an ordinance to ban stores from distributing the pesky bags? Manhattan Beach took this step way back in July of 2008, but the Save the Plastic Bags Coalition has been fighting the ordinance with a lawsuit. The State Supreme Court has now agreed to hear the case.

The Coalition argues that, in many cases, plastic bags are actually less harmful to the environment than their paper counterparts. According to the organization, paper bags require more water in production, they are heavier in transit, and they may even have a shorter shelf-life than plastic bags, leading to less “personal recycling.”

After reading these studies, you may question which is actually the greener option … The answer is simple: either.

Most studies show it is not the bag itself that damages the environment, but the creation, transportation and disposal of the bag. You can control all of these items. Okay, so you cannot make bags yourself, but you can recycle the bags you have, reducing consumption and therefore production.

Not one to tote along dozens of bags to the store? Consider these other options for recycling:

  • Use the bags as lunch bags. By recycling ONE plastic bag, you can avoid purchasing lunch bags, cutting back on the packaging boxes lunch bags come in and reducing transportation of paper lunch bags. (Note: purchasing a sustainable lunch box will still be the greener alternative. That is, if you can convince your kids to bring the lunch box home each day!)
  • Use the bags as waste bags in your home. Line your smaller waste baskets with these recycled plastic bags rather than purchasing your own waste basket liners.
  • Use the bags as litter-box liners for your cat(s)! Lining a box with two plastic bags can actually save plastic, money, and the environment when compared to purchasing manufactured liners.
  • Glue them all together and make a giant slip and slide! Okay, maybe we’re getting a little carried away.

Not sure how to save and store your baggies? Try this simple craft project to create a plastic bag storage holder of your own!

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