Starting Now, California Mandates Its Supermarkets Recycle
Supermarkets have to recycle plastic bags, and you'll get more cash back if you recycle yourself. New state laws have taken effect in California. KPBS reporter Andrew Phelps tell us about some of them
The laws took effect this weekend, July 1st. They aim to protect the environment -- and your health.
The new laws cover candy bars, soda cans and plastic bags. So I went to the grocery store. Those plastic bags you get at the supermarket are recyclable. A lot of people just throw them away.
But those bags are clogging up California's landfills.
A new state law requires supermarkets to recycle plastic bags. Stores have to make it easy for customers to drop them off. This Vons at Mission Gorge Road has recycled bags since the early nineties. The company says it recycles more than two million pounds of plastic every year.
If everyone recycled his own grocery bags, it would save tons of plastic from the landfill. But there's no law yet against throwing the bags away.
The state wants to make recycling more attractive, so lawmakers have increased the California Redemption Value, or CRV, on cans and bottles. You pay the CRV tax at the store, and you get the money back if you recycle. 5 cents for small containers, 10 cents for large ones.
By the way, you won't find soda cans at public schools anymore. Another new law forbids school districts from having soda and junk food for sale on campus. But kids can still buy that stuff at the grocery store.
One more law to tell you about, but it doesn't take effect till next July, a year from now. Californians will not be allowed to drive and talk on a cellphone -- unless they're using a handsfree headset.