Santa Monica Officially Sacks The Plastic Bag

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One that got away... Photo: Katerha via Flickr

The seaside city's plastic bag ban has been many months in coming, after being voted in late last January, technically taking effect in March, and starting today, enforced with extreme prejudice! Well, not exactly. No one need worry that those cargo-pantsed, South American-military-dictatorship-style security guards at Whole Foods will whoop your glutes for toting around anything plasticky and bag-like. Instead, plastic bags will simply cease to be available at convenience stores, groceries, liquor stores, and mini-marts, The Contra Costa Times reports. Why, oh why, is Santa Monica doing this again?

Well, as you may have heard, there's this massive swirling hell-pit of plastic bags and garbage swallowing up space in the Pacific Ocean that some people claim makes Texas look like Singapore by its size alone. Even before they hit the ocean, these things are Rachel Carson's worst nightmare.

If that isn't a good enough reason, San Diego scientists recently found that one in ten Pacific Ocean fish have plastic INSIDE OF THEM. Santa Monica, being Heal the Bay's town and all, wants to lead the rest of the country by doing away with the single use plastic sacks so that you'll use that smelly, diseased reusable bag that's somewhere in the back of your car right now.

The penalty for not bringing your own bag? A ten-cent fee for a superior (and possibly forest-shredding) paper bag! So, yeah, we can see how this will play out already. People who already give a damn for the environment will continue to shop sustainably, while everybody else shells out a pittance to ignore the whole issue.

Santa Monica joins Long Beach in banning plastic bags [Contra Costa Times]

Earlier: The Short, Brutal Life of The Majestic Plastic Bag [Grub Street]