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Davis, California

Monday, February 26, 2024

Editorial: Plastic bag ban

There’s a plastic bag ban coming to town, and we applaud the Davis City Council for its vote although we’re surprised that it’s only happening now.

Starting in January for major retailers, the ban will remove single-use plastic bags from the city, with the exception of produce aisle bags for sanitation reasons. We’ll still be able to purchase paper bags for $0.10, and thicker plastic bags, like the ones handed out at Forever 21, are considered reusable and will still be around.

Similar bans in other cities have generated some mixed feelings as shoppers miss the bags they previously used to line their trash cans or to pick up after their dogs. In Davis too, there may be some compromises. Students sometimes make use of the plastic to cover their bike seats on rainy days. As this helps bikers avoid unfortunately wet pants, we think it’s a fantastic way to use them, but we don’t think it’s a strong point against the ban.

In fact, the conversation seems one-sided, in part because it has already been discussed for years. Plastic bag bans are old news. Back in 2007, San Francisco became the first city to prohibit the use of plastic bags, and while others like Los Angeles may only be getting there now, we’re surprised that an environmentally conscientious like Davis wasn’t among the pioneers.

This isn’t to say that Davis has just been throwing wasted plastic into landfills. Some stores like Whole Foods and the UC Davis Stores already charge for plastic bags or have removed them completely.

This is quite sensible seeing as students generally wear backpacks on campus, and while the Editorial Board acknowledges that we don’t need legislation for changes to occur, we’re still glad the city’s finally making it official.

As for soggy bike seat problems, try investing in shower caps or switching to Forever 21 bags — the bright yellow might make you more visible on rainy days.


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