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.