Canadian Plastics

California temporarily suspends plastic bag ban

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on April 23 that allows retailers in the state to provide customers with single-use plastic bags for free for 60 days.

April 28, 2020   Canadian Plastics

California, the U.S.’s most populous state, has suspended its four-year-old ban on single-use plastic bags because of the coronavirus pandemic.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on April 23 that allows retailers in the state to provide customers with single-use plastic bags for free for 60 days.

Prior to the pandemic, California had some of the U.S.’s strictest laws aimed at reducing plastic waste. Under state legislation adopted in 2016, retailers have been obligated to charge patrons at least 10 cents for a paper bag or reusable bag. The rules were intended to encourage Californians to use reusable bags, like grocery totes, for shopping. Under the new executive order, stores can still charge for the bags if they want.

“It is critical to protect the public health and safety and minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure for workers engaged in essential activities, such as those handling reusable grocery bags,” Newsom’s order said in explaining the decision to temporarily lift the ban on plastic bags.

The executive order also allows grocery stores to temporarily stop accepting recyclable bottles and cans, which they then transfer to recycling centres. Consumers will still be charged the deposit when they purchase the bottles.


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