California Bag Ban Laws 2015
Going into effect July 1st, 2015 California will be the first state to enforce bag ban laws for single use plastic bags in grocery stores and pharmacies. Prior to this, individual counties or cities determined the regulation of packaging, and locations such as Seattle, Portland, Chicago, and Austin already have ongoing bans on plastic. But this will be the first time that an entire state will comply with plastic bag bans, and it may be the beginning of a much more environmentally conscious society.
Plastic shopping bags can be used, however, if they qualify as reusable. Reusable plastic bags must be at least 2.25 mil thick and have a handle and be manufactured with the intent of being used at least 125 times. Reusable plastic bags must also have a volume of at least 15 liters and be made from materials that won’t disintegrate when washed. Additionally, they must have specific labels in place, like the name of the manufacturer, the country of origin, a statement saying its reusable and should be used 125 times, in addition to the proper recycling instructions.
Reusable shopping bags must also meet additional requirements by being made with at least 20% post consumer waste material after January 1st 2016, and at least 40% after January 1st 2020.
What does this mean for retailers?
If your store or business still uses single use plastic bags after the bag ban law goes in effect, you will be fined $1000 on the first offence, $2000 on the second, and $5000 for any further violation if your bags do not meet the new standards. California might be the first state to make such strict bag laws, but they might not be the last. People are becoming ever more conscious of their global impact, and it is likely that other locations will continue with this trend.
There are many types of packaging that can be used to stay in compliance with bag laws. In addition to upgrading plastic film bags, other options can be explored instead, such as reusable bags like ppnw, pp woven, PET, rPET, cotton and other natural materials in addition to paper bags made out of post consumer waste or recycled materials.
Please contact Prime Line for further information on bag bans as well as to upgrade your packaging to stay in compliance with current laws.