Plastic Pollution in the Crosshairs of State and City Bans

May 30, 2019

Public awareness is growing around the alarming amount of plastic waste being introduced into the world’s oceans, landfills, and the environment in general. As awareness grows, so too do the number of actions being taken at the Federal, state, municipal, and even individual level to curtail various forms of plastic pollution.

  • In April 2019, Maine became the first state to ban single-use Styrofoam cups and containers. The ban goes into effect January 1, 2021. It bans grocery stores, restaurants, cafes, and other eateries from using cups or containers made from polystyrene (aka Styrofoam).
  • In January 2019, the city of San Diego began banning the use of extruded polystyrene (Styrofoam) in food and drink containers, egg cartons, ice coolers, swimming pool toys, mooring buoys, and navigation markers.
  • In July 2018, Seattle became the largest US city to ban plastic straws. Similarly, in January 2019, Washington DC, enacted a ban on plastic straws in restaurants and other service businesses.
  • Starbucks has announced that it plans to stop using plastic straws by 2020.
  • In October 2018, organizations responsible for 20% of the plastic packaging produced around the world launched the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to investigate ways of reducing plastic waste and pollution. Some 250 organizations are involved, including Unilever, L'Oreal, H&M Group, Nestle, Coca-Cola, packaging producers such as Amcor, and plastics producers such as Novamont. Among their chief goals are to find ways to ensure that 100% of plastic packaging can be easily and safely reused, recycled, or composted.
  • As a further sign of the times, Collins Dictionary named "single-use" its word of the year for 2018 on its list of new and notable words reflective of the previous 12 months. The term is often used to refer to plastics or other products that are designed to be used once and thrown away, such as plastic bags.

The Problem with Single-Use Plastic Bags

Nationwide, many states, counties, and cities have enacted bans or imposed fees related to the use of single-use plastic bags, including more than two dozen communities that, according to, recently enacted bag bans or taxes that are set to go into effect in 2019.

The reasoning is simple. While single use plastic bags are inexpensive to produce and convenient for consumers, they are made of plastic, which means the bags stay in the environment for a long time. Most are thrown away—either properly, which means they end up landfills or in the ocean; or improperly, which means they become the litter we see in cities and along highways.

According to

  • Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade, which means they break down into smaller and smaller toxic bits. A plastic bag can take between 400 to 1,000 years to break down.
  • As plastic bags break down, the particles contaminate soil and waterways and enter the food web where animals, especially marine life, can accidentally ingest them. Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year.

Solutions from Belvedere Exclusive

Effected consumers and retailers can do their part to fight plastic pollution by using reusable shopping bags such as those produced by Belvedere Exclusive.

Belvedere Exclusive is the premier source for environmentally-friendly reusable tote bags, insulated cooler bags, canvas tote bags, and other related products. All of our products are recycled, recyclable, or biodegradable/compostable.

Not only is this approach good for complying with current and anticipated future laws and being environmentally responsible, but reusable shopping bags imprinted with your company’s logo create brand ambassadors out of your customers, boosting impressions and building brand awareness.

Belvedere’s VALUE Collection

Belvedere offers the lowest cost FOB USA non-woven shopping bags on the market: 100-gram PP non-woven, PP-5 recyclable, fully customized in six different sizes to fully meet your business needs. Our flexible program offers discounts over multiple ship dates, and bags are available in both screen printed and full color all for under $1.00 per bag! Learn More

Belvedere’s ECO Collection

Made from recycled products, these 100-gram Recycled PET non-woven, PETE-1 recyclable bags are fully customizable and come in three different sizes. They’re available in as low as 10 carton increments with three different printing methods depending on art. This is our premium product designed to help you make your eco-statement! Learn More

Get a Quote

We invite you to get a no-strings attached quote on Belvedere Exclusive bags, which are already in use with many high-profile brands around the country.

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