Plastic bags have lobbyists. They’re winning.

plastic bag in tree

SAMANTHA MALDONADO, BRUCE RITCHIE and DEBRA KAHN / POLITICO – The plastic shopping bag has long been hunted by state and local policymakers pushing for its extinction. But still it thrives, thanks to the deep-pocketed chemical industry that birthed it and the political influence of retailers and restaurants. Only eight states ban single-use plastic bags. Nearly twice as many have laws protecting them.

To take on a global and well-heeled industry, U.S. environmentalists have adopted a strategy of winning hyper-local grassroots victories to build momentum to ban the bag and other plastics. The approach helped California environmentalists win a referendum to uphold a bag ban in 2016, and, in 2019, legislation to phase out plastic hotel toiletry bottles …

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