Say goodbye to plastic bags

There has been an official ban on the use of plastic bags used in grocery stores and pharmacies. Gov. Jerry Brown signed this new step into law for the betterment of the environment. The law will go into effect on July 1 ,2015, and will apply to grocery stores and pharmacies.

DON'T FORGET THE TOTE: Under a new law, plastic bags will be phased out at grocery stores and supermarkets beginning next summer. (Photograph: 123RP)

DON’T FORGET THE TOTE: Under a new law, plastic bags will be phased out at grocery stores and supermarkets beginning next summer. (Photograph: 123RP)

The use of plastic bags has been the center of controversy for some time now and this approach to end the extensive use of plastic bags has come at an appropriate time. The legislation states that stores will need to provide reusable plastic bags and paper bags that will cost 10 cents each.

“Gov. Brown’s signature reflects our commitment to protect the environment and reduce government costs,” said one of the bill’s main sponsors, Sen. Alex Padilla, according to the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

The benefits of this ban are large, as it will help decrease the littering of beaches, rivers, and mountains. People are now encouraged to partake in buying reusable bags, and taking them to grocery stores.

Alternative bags made of recycled materials have become popular.

Los Angeles has become the largest city in the state to pioneer this plastic bag-free movement since June of last year. Places such as Whole Foods Market and other grocery stores in California have begun implementing this efficient and eco-friendly way of shopping.

There are now local places educating individuals in ways to recycle, make compost and learn to lead a green, eco-friendly life.  For a number of years, now, the Environmental Nature Center  located in Newport Beach, California has been educating the public, giving a hands-on experience with nature. You will not find one plastic bag there since most of the employees bring their own Klean Kanteen reusable water containers to work.

“I was thrilled when I learned about the plastic bag ban,” said Lori Whalen, education and community relations director at the ENC. “It’s a huge victory for the environment of California. Plastic bags waste natural resources and negatively impact wildlife,” she said.

Animals have been known to choke on plastic bags littered along the sides of freeways and sidewalks.

Reusable bags and containers are available to buy online or even at the ENC store.

So say goodbye to plastic and hello to a better way of preserving this earth.  People like Whalen and many others at the ENC have become leaders in the green community and role models for an eco-friendly life.

“I’ve been using reusable bags for well over a decade,” said Whalen. “It’s truly not that difficult to get into the habit.”