ARE Doctoral Student Rebecca Taylor featured in the San Francisco Chronicle

September 12, 2016

Rebecca's paper is prominently featured in the September 9th, 2016 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Plastics industry pushing to halt bag-ban momentum

By Kurtis Alexander

September 9, 2016 Updated: September 9, 2016 6:50pm

Rebecca Taylor, a UC Berkeley Ph.D. candidate who has researched bag laws, wouldn’t weigh in on whether California’s proposed ban would be an environmental boon, noting that there are too many factors to consider.

However, her recent paper looking at plastic-bag bans in the East Bay found that while the use of paper rose, the overall number of throwaway bags — paper and plastic — dropped.

She projects that a statewide ban would reduce the number of plastic bags from grocery trips by 5.3 billion a year, while the number of paper bags would increase by 596 million.

“But it’s not just the disposable bags that we should be thinking about,” Taylor said. “It’s the reusable bags that we want people switching to.”

Making reusable bags cheaper and more accessible, she said, is the best way to trim the environmental toll of hauling groceries.