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Letters to the Editor: California’s bag ban is failing? Didn’t look that way to an

To the editor: Thirty years ago, I moved from L.A. to North Carolina, and last spring was the first time I returned to California — via roadways. What was ubiquitous along the 2,569 miles it took to get to California was the blight of plastic bags, caught in fences, on signs, rocks, trees, cacti, even tumbleweeds.

Regardless of the finding that your state’s single-use bag ban hasn’t cut down on waste, once we entered California, the absence of plastic “landscapes” was notable and welcome.

Fine-tuning the law might help people develop a habit I began when I purchased my first canvas shopping bag in 1982 at the Trader Joe’s in Redondo Beach. I began learning to walk into any store carrying my own bag, and each time I had to return to my car to retrieve bags taught me to remember them, beginning with not walking out of the house without them.

Valarie Schwartz, Chapel Hill, N.C.


To the editor: It was easy to see from the outset that California’s single-use plastic bag ban was a failure. The well-intentioned were led astray by those who stood to profit.

How could you tell this was headed for disaster? Everybody in front of you in the checkout line was saying “yes” to bags, even if they only had one or two items.

That meant, of course, that the “recyclable” bags they opted for on their last trip ended up in the trash. The new bags were stronger because they had more plastic in them, adding to this debacle.

Obviously, the solution is to ban plastic bags altogether, “recyclable” or not.

Denys Arcuri, Indio


To the editor: It was very discouraging to read your article saying that plastic waste in California has increased, even with the single-use plastic bag ban.

The heavier plastic “reusable” grocery bags were supposed to reduce the amount of waste. But on any day in a market, you will see customers buying a dozen or so new bags to carry their groceries, instead of reusing the old ones. It’s obvious that the 10-cent fee per bag has done almost nothing to discourage wastefulness.

It is so easy to bring your old bags back to the store, whether it is the heavyweight plastic or the larger canvas bags. It is just lazy and environmentally irresponsible not to do this. The canvas bags are so much more convenient than the plastic ones because they carry two to four times as much food.

I would like to see the bag fee raised to $1. This would quickly develop a habit of bringing bags back for reuse.

Jay Shapiro, Woodland Hills

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