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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

News in Brief: Plastic bag ban to extend to Davis stores July 1

On July 1, the City of Davis will join 89 other cities and counties across California that have come together to ban plastic bags from retail stores.

Approximately one-third of the cities and counties of California now participate in the bag ban, a huge jump from 2011, when only 15 cities and counties were involved.

Getting the bag ban to the City of Davis is part of a huge effort to reduce plastic waste nationwide. According to Donna Farvard, the president of the UC Davis chapter of CalPIRG, the average person receives approximately 200 plastic bags per year.

The ban will be extended to all stores in the city, with the exception of some nonprofit organizations, such as Davis Community Meals.

According to Farvard, general reactions to the ban have been very positive, but she has noticed that students are slightly more enthusiastic about it than some community members.

“You get some community members who aren’t as fond of the bag ban, but the overwhelming majority are in support,” Farvard said.

Interestingly enough, most of those not in favor of the ban are more worried about losing the practical use of plastic bags than about how they’re going to carry their groceries out of the store, according to Farvard.

“They’re so practical to have around the house, it’s going to be frustrating to go without them,” said James Kim, a Davis community member.

Farvard believes that most retail stores are in support of the ban, because not having to supply customers with free bags will reduce their costs. Customers will still be able to purchase paper bags for 10 cents.

“Paper bags are a better option for the environment, because they break down more easily than plastic,” said Janine Spiers, a second-year UC Davis graduate student in the conservation ecology program.

Plastic bags never biodegrade completely, they continue to break down into tinier and tinier pieces of plastic. Currently, in the North Pacific Garbage Patch, there are six times more pieces of plastic than plankton in the water, which means more pollution than food for fish.

While talks about an ordinance have been in place for some time, if all goes as planned it will be in full effect by July.

“All ordinances have a phase in, and many plastic bag ones have had more than a year,” said City of Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza in an email. “[And] so stores have time to adjust their practices.”

— Taylor Cunningham



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