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Around the United States, cities are banning plastic bags. Currently, only California has a statewide plastic bag ban, but many other cities have mandatory recycling programs and taxes to make plastic bags less attractive.

A plastic bag has a lifespan of about 12 seconds, but it can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. In the meantime, these slowly dying plastic bags make their way into our oceans, landfills and sidewalks. Knowing how dangerous a single plastic bag can be, more companies are using reusable bags to show their support for new plastic bag laws.

Let’s learn more about why plastic bags should be regulated, what cities have already banned them and what your business can do to support the bag ban.

Why Plastic Bags Should be Regulated

Plastic bags are harmful to the environment, even when they are disposed of properly. They often get caught in the wind and litter our trees and bushes. It costs taxpayers a lot of money to clean up this garbage.

When plastic bags make it into our oceans and waterways, they can entangle or choke marine life. Terrestrial animals accidentally eat plastic bags, too, causing intestinal obstructions or toxic buildup. Animals who die from plastic bags usually have slow, painful deaths.

Unfortunately, recycling plastic bags is not the right solution. Plastic bags clog waste management machinery and contaminate other recyclables. The only solution is to ban plastic bags altogether.

What Cities are Adopting Bag Ordinances, and How are They Working?

California has a statewide ban on plastic bags and a 10-cent fee for paper and reusable bags. In San Jose, CA, reusable bags increased from 4% to 62%, and plastic bag litter decreased by 59% on streets and 89% in storm drains.

In Chicago, a straight ban on thin plastic bags was issued, but some companies started giving away thicker plastic bags. Today, the city has a 7-cent tax on all carryout bags, which has dropped plastic bag consumption by 42%.

In Washington DC, plastic bag ordinances led to a 60% decrease in single-use carryout bag consumption in the first year. 83% of local residents and 90% of businesses either support the law or are neutral to it.

More Businesses are Adopting Reusable Bags

Companies all over the U.S. are supporting the bag ban and feel that it’s their place to protect and preserve the environment. Cost-effective alternatives to plastic bags include canvas bags, cotton bags, jute bags and paper bags.

Not only are reusable bags better for the environment, but also they can be printed with your brand colors, name and logo. To warm customers up to the idea of using reusable bags, hand out this branded swag at your events or include them for free with customer purchases.

Is your company in support of banning plastic bags? If so, check out Inkwell Global Marketing’s collection of grocery totes that can be printed with your brand name and logo. Promote your brand and support the environment!