The plastic bag ban issue continues to be news given that opponents of this law have now obtained enough signatures to get it on the 2016 ballot for a recall. Banning single-use plastic bags is not so ominous an idea as some would have us believe. Considering the effects of litter, non-biodegradability and the harm to wildlife, the bag-ban law is a good idea and makes sense.
However, the backroom deal, which resulted in a provision forcing grocers to charge the consumer at least 10 cents for a paper bag, should never have been part of the plastic-bag law. Paper is degradable, comes from a renewable source and has nothing whatsoever to do with plastic bags except to get the grocery industry surreptitiously on board and supportive of the law. Market forces should decide whether paper bags are free not legislators.
Sacramento should revise the paper-bag provision of the law now. Eliminate the paper-bag fee and there will likely not be enough votes to overturn the law in 2016. Do nothing and there is a big risk that the recall issue will succeed. That would be a mistake.
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