Since opening in late 2015 we have only used recycled paper bags and given away 1500 reusable polyester bags.
The first version of our reusable bags admittedly were not made from recycled plastic, so when it came time to source new bags we did some research and found that bags made from recycled RPET plastic water bottles were the way to go.
We also examined California’s 2014 statewide ban of single-use plastic bags, how it went into effect and the general reception.
Having spent the summer of 2016 in California’s Central Coast, a somewhat less environmentally conscious area of the state than the San Francisco Bay area to the north and the greater Los Angelas area to the south, I witnessed firsthand how the ban had played out two years after being signed into law. From what I observed everything was business as usual. Most people carried their own bags with them when shopping, or when grabbing a couple of convenience items they would carry their purchases out with them without a bag.
What at first seemed like a minor inconvenience, had become a part of normal day to day life, reinforced by the fact that California’s more than 3,000 miles of coastline, bays, and inlets would be much more pristine, that storm drains would overflow less often because they were clogged with trash, and that the states fish and wildlife population would be protected.
Everyone’s “eclectic grandma”, “weird aunt”, or your dads “hippie” friend from college probably had a poster, or bumper sticker at some point with the cliche and dubiously attributed to Gandhi quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” While a little cheesy and edited to fit on a bumper sticker Gandhi's original idea was that if everyone changed their behavior then society as a whole would change. The only real way we as a society are able to effect positive change on the environment is if we all make changes in the way we live day to day.
In the spirit of Gandhi's message we are going to give away our new “reuse-me” bags to our customers over the next month, and after January 1, 2019, we will be charging $2.00 for our “reuse-me” bags, 25¢ for recycled paper bags, and giving a 5¢ credit for customers who bring their own bags.
For an extremely in-depth analysis of plastic bag bans across the globe, check out the United Nations Environment Programme’s report here.
For more on the Gandhi “quote” Go here.