Los Angeles is now the largest city in the United States to have banned plastic bags. Over the next 16 months, plastic bags will be phased out of approximately 7,500 grocery stores — at which point shoppers will have to bring reusable bags or purchase paper ones for 10 cents each. According to the L.A. Times, “clean water advocates” estimate that California residents use 12 billion plastic bags per year, and only recycle about 5 percent of those. Despite the facts, some L.A. residents are perturbed by the fact that in less than two years, plastic bags simply won’t be an option at their stores. As one shopper stated in the L.A. Times article, “I wish we could use plastics bags,” she said. “I wish they could bring them back. I get it’s better for the environment, but it’s a lot to remember — bringing a reusable bag — especially if you’re in a rush.”
Many people — especially environmental advocates and those who understand the true impact plastic bags have on the environment — feel strongly that humans should be responsible enough to bring their own bag for the sake of the planet. For those of us who simply love to play outside, it’s becoming increasingly harder to take a hike, paddle a kayak or ride your bike in the wilderness and not see a plastic Ziploc or grocery store bag somewhere along the way.