Responding to the Case Against a California Plastic Bag Ban

March 07, 2014
A recent New York Times article offered a forum for both sides to present their case on banning plastic bags throughout the state of California. State Senator Alex Padilla has introduced a bill that would phase single-use plastic bags out of the state for good, but the usual pushback from special interest groups is certain to make the issue a volatile one.  The 100 communities in California already relying on wholesale shopping bags for carrying groceries have plenty of evidence to offer in support. However, since plastic bags are made with petroleum, oil company interests have joined plastic bag manufacturers in mounting an offensive aimed at keeping wasteful plastic bags part of Californians’ life. Here is a simple way of refuting every point they make. Are paper bags really worse for the environment? This argument is often the first one made when plastic bag bans are suggested. It’s misleading on many counts. First, anyone who brings a reusable bag to the store doesn’t need a paper bag. Second, anyone who opts for a paper bag can recycle the bag with newspapers and other items at home. Third, paper bags biodegrade. When someone says it takes more energy to make paper bags, that’s true, but every other side of the argument makes it a moot point. Are reusable bags more wasteful? Reusable shopping bags certainly take much more energy to produce than single-use bags, but the whole point is they are made that way because they can be used thousands of times. This argument is simply misleading. Do all reusable bags come from China? The argument that reusable bags only come from China – the Times writer quotes a plastic bag manufacturer making that point – is simply false. You have the option to order wholesale reusable grocery bags from many number of U.S. companies, especially Holden Bags. Does using wholesale shopping bags actually make a difference? There are some people who actually argue that banning plastic bags doesn’t save waste and limit pollution. Every community that has banned plastic bags has evidence to the contrary. Can someone argue that the 5 billion plastic bags used every year in New York is somehow a good thing? The point of getting communities to use wholesale reusable grocery bags is not to hurt businesses or annoy citizens. It’s to stop the incredible waste of single-use plastic bags. They are hardly ever recycled, reused occasionally and waste tremendous amounts of resources. Holden Bags has customizable eco-friendly reusable alternatives for any type of bag. For more information or for a quote please visit or contact us at 800.255.0885800.255.0885.