Did you know that on Friday the California State Legislature passed a bill banning the use of plastic bags at grocery stores, pharmacies, liquor stores and other businesses?

If signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the bill would institute the first statewide ban on plastic bags in the U.S. Plastic bags often end up in the ocean and sea turtles have been known to swallow the bags, and can die from plastic ingestion. Recent scientific studies have shown that 50 percent of all sea turtles eat plastic. Young sea turtles, endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles and Green sea turtles are the most at risk for plastic ingestion.

“This bill is widely supported by groups representing environmental causes, workers, the poor, and business. It’s pretty rare to have such a diverse and sweeping coalition standing behind a policy,” California Grocers Association President Ron Fong said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. “This has never been about anything but encouraging Californians to shift habits and use reusable bags.”

Many cities already have smart plastic bag bans in place including:

  • San Francisco, California
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Portland, Oregon

Read more about the plastic bag legislation in the Wall Street Journal article published on August 30, 2014.