How Much Progress Has Been Made On Bag Bans In the U.S.?
Are We Making Progress In The United States On Bag Bans?
One commonality across many bag bans is how they start – typically, there is one person who voices their concern about the environmental impact of disposable plastic bags, and things take off from there. One person can make a difference. The map also makes it easy to see patterns. Usually, once a ban or fee passes in one city or county, neighboring cities and counties follow suit and work to implement measures of their own.
California Continues to Be the Epicenter of Bag Bans
California is undoubtedly leading the charge in the United States to ban single-use plastic bags with well over 100 cities and municipalities that have ordinances in place. A state-wide plastic bag ban was passed; however, the issue has hit an impasse as groups opposed to banning single-use plastic bags could collect the signatures necessary to get this proposal on the November 2016 ballot.
Numerous California cities and counties have continued to pass their own disposable plastic bag bans while the state ban is sorted out. California isn’t the only state on the west coast with a commitment to banning disposable plastic bags. By the last count, 13 bag bans were on the books in Washington, including Seattle, which was the first city to pass a bag ban. Oregon has several bag bans, with many more in the works.
New England (and Beyond) Joining the Movement
There has been a lot of activity in Massachusetts, with Barnstable implementing a bag ban and proposed bans in the works in both Wellesley and Winchester. There have also been significant goings-on in Maine with South Portland implementing a bag fee, Brunswick considering a bag fee, and officials in Falmouth discussing a bag ban. From there, the movement is spreading south, with most of the towns on the eastern end of Long Island passing bans or currently considering bans and even some cities in coastal New Jersey joining the fray with talk of implementing disposable bag fees or bans.
Bag Bans in the Works from Coast to Coast
The bag ban movement continues to gain momentum throughout the U.S. It has been so exciting to watch the movement, and it still is exciting to see the different proposals turn into realities. If you want to see the movement for yourself, head here to see our map. If you notice any locations missing a pin, let us know, and we’ll make sure to get the map updated. We try to keep up with all the new bans and fees, but sometimes some slip by. Also, feel free to share the map and help get the word out about the bag ban movement.