A new bill introduced in the California Legislature on Thursday would outlaw plastic shopping bags completely in the state starting in 2026.
Although grocery stores and other retailers are already prohibited from using thin plastic shopping bags in California, customers may still purchase larger plastic bags at the register that are supposedly reusable and disposable.
People aren’t recycling or reusing the bags, according to Democratic state senator Catherine Blakespear. She cites a state study that shows the average person’s annual trash haul of plastic shopping bags increased from 8 pounds in 2004 to 11 pounds in 2021.
It demonstrates that the state’s 2014 plastic bag ban did not result in a decrease in the total usage of plastic.