California Democrats are going after plastic bags again but this time they’re even more radical

Governance in the formerly Golden State is now broken, and the signs are everywhere.

Crime rates and taxes are sky high but political leaders are focusing instead on trivialities.

Now California Democrats are going after plastic bags again but this time they’re even more radical.

California had previously banned the use of traditional plastic bags from grocery stores.

But those who foisted the ban on the public have now been forced to admit that their big government solution only compounded the problem they had sought to fix.

Now, naturally, rather than reversing course, the leftist officials are simply doubling down.

The state legislature has now voted to ban even the so-called “reusable” plastic bags after the original ban failed to reduce pollution.

The plastic bag ban was another big government “oopsie”

State Sen. Catherine Blakespear (D), the bill’s author, said in a statement, “California’s original ban on plastic bags hasn’t worked out as planned, and sadly, the state’s plastic bag waste has increased dramatically since it went into effect. California must do its part to eliminate this scourge that is contaminating our environment.”

As a result of the seeming miscalculation, California’s legislature passed two bills that would prohibit grocers from providing “reusable” bags that are made of plastic film to their customers.

The legislation would allow stores to offer reusable bags made of cloth or other non-plastic materials.

The California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) found that there has been a 47% increase in plastic bag waste since 2014, partially because of the ban on single-use shopping bags.

CALPIRG found that the overall tonnage of discarded bags rose from 4.08 per 1,000 people in 2014 to 5.89 per 1,000 people in 2021, a record high. 

The actual tonnage of plastic waste increased 50% during the same period.

 

That’s because the newer bags, which typically cost 10 cents, had been made thicker to meet technical specifications for “reusable,” but usually were not reused. 

“Reusable” plastic bags are at least four times thicker than typical single-use plastic bags. 

Adding insult to injury, during the COVID lockdown, groceries, restaurant dishes and other products were delivered to consumers’ doors, often in thick plastic bags.

Jenn Engstrom is the state director of CALPIRG and she said in a statement, “California’s current bag ban law, which allows businesses to replace thin plastic bags with supposedly reusable ones at checkout, clearly is not working.”

Engstrom continued, “Plastic companies mass-producing thicker bags circumvent the law’s intent. Then, inevitably, discarded bags pollute our communities and environment. We’re thankful the state legislature is taking action to finally ban plastic grocery bags once and for all.”

New Jersey pols also jumped on the bag ban bandwagon without thinking

Similar miscalculations occurred in other left-leaning states that implemented plastic bag bans.

New Jersey banned single-use plastic and paper bags in all stores and food service businesses in 2022.

While the law was cheered by “environmental groups” and the total number of plastic bags decreased 60 percent to 894 million bags, the alternative thicker bags ended up having a much larger carbon footprint.

It turned out that the state’s consumption of plastic for bags increased by three times.

In the end, the plastic bag ban just demonstrates what happens when politicians rush into regulating without thinking through whether their goals will be attained.

Stay tuned to Blue State Blues for any updates to this ongoing story. 

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