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California tried to ban plastic grocery bags. It didn’t work

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on New York Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: California's initial ban on single-use plastic bags has led to an unintended increase in plastic waste due to the widespread use of heavy-duty plastic bags that were rarely recycled
• A new bill now aims to eliminate all plastic bags from checkout lines, emphasizing the urgent need for more effective environmental legislation

🔭 The context: Despite the ban on single-use plastic bags nearly a decade ago, Californians ended up discarding more plastic bags by weight last year
• The thicker, supposedly reusable bags introduced as an alternative have not been effectively recycled, leading lawmakers to propose a more comprehensive ban

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Plastic waste significantly impacts the environment, contributing to pollution and harming wildlife
• California's struggle with plastic bag legislation highlights the challenges of reducing plastic use and the importance of creating laws that lead to genuine environmental improvements

⏭️ What's next: If the new bill passes, it could mark a significant step towards reducing plastic waste, with implications for other states and countries
• The legislation aims to address the loopholes of the previous law and prevent the sale of billions more plastic bags before its potential implementation in 2026

💬 One quote: “It’s time for us to get rid of plastic bags altogether,” said State Senator Ben Allen, emphasizing the need for decisive action against plastic pollution.

📈 One stat: "Last year, Californians threw away more plastic bags, by weight, than when the law first passed," showcasing the failure of the initial ban to decrease plastic waste as intended.

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