Editorial: What plastic bag ban? California stores still doling out disposable sacks
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — I bought a reusable plastic bag from a local grocery store. That’s it. If it’s a reusable plastic bag, I keep it in my pocket in plastic.
How then can that bag be considered a product when not one person in the entire state of California, where I live and have gone to school for more than 60 years, is allowed to buy a product which was formerly not a product, since when it was not a product and I can buy it again and again and again, if I want?
The answer remains the same: I just don’t know the answer.
In response to our question, the California Department of Food and Agriculture released the following clarification: “No, reusable and disposable plastic bags can’t be used interchangeably, but they can be re-used once.
“While no reusable bag can legally be recycled, California consumers can use their local grocery store’s refillable boxes, sleeves or containers, where needed. To do so, shop at the store where the item is purchased.”
This is an answer I don’t like.
The reason I have a fear that the state of California will follow the lead of Texas, where the grocery store is barred from offering the option of reusable bags, is because the reusable bags here in California are made with PETE plastic, not BPA, the substance banned in all plastics because it’s a known endocrine disruptor which causes endocrine-based cancers.
If I buy a bag made from materials similar to those in which I have been exposed at least once in my life, I’m in trouble.
I asked the Department of Food and Agriculture how I would know whether or not the bag I bought was safe to use, given that both recyclable and reusable brands are available from most grocery stores in the entire state, and this does