California bans plastic bags

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While this past presidential election has been discussed endlessly, California made history on another part of the ballot, Proposition 67 also known as The California Plastic Bag Ban Veto Referendum. With 52.64 percent of voters supporting the proposition, California became the first state to ban plastic bags. This makes grocery and other retail stores unable to provide any single-use bags at checkout, unless they are charging 10 cents for bags that are recyclable or more durable and able to be used more than once.

While this past presidential election has been discussed endlessly, California made history on another part of the ballot, Proposition 67 also known as The California Plastic Bag Ban Veto Referendum. With 52.64 percent of voters supporting the proposition, California became the first state to ban plastic bags. This makes grocery and other retail stores unable to provide any single-use bags at checkout, unless they are charging 10 cents for bags that are recyclable or more durable and able to be used more than once.

Politics regularly focuses on immigration, military and education, and while these are all crucial topics, too often the environment seems to be left out. Personally I became disappointed at the lack of attention for the environment during the recent presidential election. Future generations should not be left with a damaged planet that we have not worked to fix. We have nothing without the environment and the resources it provides us with. The environment should be a priority for politicians to address and citizens to show immense concern for.

California made a huge step towards being more environmentally conscious. By banning plastic bags that have been so casually used, we have eliminated an extreme cause of littering and a source that abuses our environment, including our ocean. ECO360 estimates that 14 billion pounds of trash are discarded into the ocean every year, plastic making up the majority of this waste.  While California is on its way to reducing this alarmingly careless figure, it is time the rest of America gets on board. No one is exempt from caring for the environment.

This proposition shows that manipulating even a small piece of your life can change the world. The task of bringing your own reusable bags to the grocery store or paying 10 cents and later recycling that bag, is not very much to ask of Californian residents, but in exchange our world will be a cleaner and healthier place. With this in mind, reflect on your life and look for other ways to reduce inflicted harm on our environment. Next time, recycle your used Starbucks cup or pick up that piece of trash outside of your car. If everyone were to contribute a small change in their life for the well being of the environment, we would all be better off.

While it is easy to be discouraged by all the reformation that still needs to take place to ensure a sustainable environment for future generations, I choose to see Proposition 67 as a victory, and the beginning of many more environmental accomplishments to come.