As the 2016 election came to a close and the votes were tallied, the California bag ban became a reality thanks to a 52 percent “yes” vote. As a result of the vote, large grocery stores, pharmacies and other retail stores are no longer allowed to provide single-use plastic bags to shoppers, while other small retailers will join after a year.
As the California bag ban settles in, many are left wondering if it’s reducing environmental damage and waste.
While it may be too early to tell with California’s ban, there are a few cities and countries around the globe that are already seeing positive results after banning plastic bags in their location. San Jose, San Francisco, CA and Thurston County, Washington have proven to be among the most successful U.S. cities in waste reduction as a result of their own bans on plastic bags.
Let’s look at a few examples of cities and countries that have done well (environmentally) with their plastic bag bans so far: