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Does the Plastic Bag Recycling Program Work?

Does the Plastic Bag Recycling Program Work?

We're several years into a recycling law passed by the California Legislature to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags cluttering our landscape and landfills. But no one can say if that's actually happening.

Now seven years after the California Legislature made it mandatory for grocery stores and other large retailers to give consumers an easy way of returning used bags, there are still recycling bins outside the stores.

However, the agency in charge of the recycling program can't say how many bags are being recycled or whether the program has affected the demand.

That's because an investigation shows data from the program hasn't been reviewed since 2009, even though the stores are still required to submit reports to the state on how many plastic bags they buy and how many customers return for recycling. 

Now, even supporters of the recycling law are questioning whether it will ever work.

 

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