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California law bans disposable plastic bags
By Jerry Brownstein
On 1st July, 2015, California became the first state to ban the use of disposable plastic bags. Several US cities and counties already have such laws in place, but this will be the first time that an entire state will take this important ecological step. Disposable plastic bags are rarely recycled and the vast majority of them end up in landfills or polluting the waterways and oceans.
As part of this new law, stores will be required to take back all old bags from customers so that they can be recycled. The government will provide money to bag manufacturers so that they can retool their factories to make heavier plastic bags that can be re-used for many years. These reusable bags must contain a certain percentage of recycled material (going up to 40% by the year 2020).
California is the largest and most populous state in America, and it has often set new standards in ecology that the rest of the country has later followed. One example of that was California's strict automobile emission laws that were eventually adopted in most of the United States. Environmentalists hope that this banning of plastic bags will have the same effect throughout the country.