California State recently adopted a new law, which requires retailers to charge extra for the paper bags.
This will see California, already known for some of its progressive environmental policies, become the first state in U.S to ban plastic bags and charge a statewide tax for use of paper bags. The new law has so far been in put in place in over 127 cities and counties (two thirds of California) and will prevent retailers from giving out plastic bags (paper bags will come with a 10 cent per unit price tag).
Recycling paper bags eats up a lot of energy or requires large areas of landfills to decompose even though the time period required for paper is comparably much less than for plastic. This law is not just a win-win situation for environmentalists (and the cloth bag industry), the law looks to circumvent backlash from the plastics industry by supporting plastic bag producers with the 2 million USD grants to refit their manufacturing equipment so that they can create reusable bags and keep the 1,800 Californian employees who work in this field.
Hopefully, this law will contribute significantly towards pushing consumers to bring their own reusable bags and help in changing the consumer behavior.