Recent Bans on Plastic Bags in the United States

Plastic bags have been the subject of much controversy lately in the United States. On June 26, 2013, the city of Los Angeles, California voted to ban plastic bags because of the environmental cost from their disposal in landfills and their presence in water ways and the ocean. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2014.

Los Angeles is the largest city in the world to pass a measure banning plastic bags to date. It requires that shoppers at stores who do not bring their own reusable green bag or tote to the store to carry their groceries are charged a fee of ten cents, which goes back to the store to help offset the cost of implementing the measure. Not only are the environmental costs of plastic shopping bags very high, but the state of California spent $25 million yearly to throw the bags in the landfill and $2 million a year just to clean up the plastic bags that are used, an estimated two billion bags. The city of Angels is one on a growing list of towns and cities that are implementing bag bans and enjoying the benefits of going green.

The Benefits of Shopping Using a Reusable Bag

Reusable bags are a great way to be environmentally conscious and carry your bags with style. Reusable shopping bags can be used over and over, with a longer shelf life than paper or plastic. One of the great things about reusable shopping bags is that they can carry more than environmentally destructive bags without hurting your hands, biting into them like plastic bags, or falling apart and breaking, which can damage your grocery purchases in the process.

Reusable bags require less energy to produce and have less chemical byproducts from their production, which also harms the environment. A cloth bag requires about the same energy to produce as 28 plastic bags or 8 paper bags. Using cloth bags can also reduce that pesky fee charged by grocery stores for using plastic bags. It may not be a lot of money, but many people go to the store multiple times a month. Fifteen dollars may not seem like a lot, but the financial cost for the cities to clean up and the impact on the ocean, land, and air is significant. Using a reusable bag instead of plastic once a week can save the equivalent of over five hundred plastic bags a year.

Using a reusable bag allows you to shop with a bag that is more attractive and durable than paper or plastic. Bags come in different colors, shapes, and styles and can come with coolers inside that keep food fresh on the way back from the store. Shopping with a reusable bag benefits you and the environment and is a great choice to make, whether your town has a bag ban in effect or not!


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Smartbag Thermo - Reusable Insulated Shopping Bag

The Smartbag Thermo - insulated grocery bag with zippered closure. By far the most popular and eye-catching Smartbag. The most stylish shoping bag you will ever take with you. Why walk through the store with a wad of random shopping bags when you …

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Today is the last day to vote

As most of you know, Bolsalista’s reusable shopping bags have been selected to participate in the Walmart’s Get on the Shelf competition.  Today is the last day to vote.  You can vote one time for each product entered.  Please get out there and vote today.  We can eliminate the plastic bag waste at Walmart with your help.

Typical Walmart checkout:


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All new is live today!

Visit for #bagban news #DitchThePlastic

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NY Food Startups and Plastic Bags

We see this tweet today:

It is great that more businesses are focusing on local food and sustainable business practices.  But New York does not yet have a #bagban in effect.  They have plastic bag recycling programs that require stores giving out plastic bags to also accept them for recycling.  

Hopefully these new food startups will go one step further and only offer reusable bags to their customers and encourage customers to bring their own reusable shopping bags.

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My Favorite Reusable Bags

I bought a small, green, reusable bag about 8 years ago that folded into a small pouch.  I used this bag so much and thought it was so great that I bought one for every person on my Christmas list the same year.  This little reusable bag in a pouch was the inspiration for our Just in Case foldable, reusable shopping bag.

What could make using your own, reusable bag and avoiding bag fees and the check stand more convenient than already having a bag there in your pocket?  This is something that is a bit easier to accomplish for people who carry a larger day-pack or purse, or if you happen to travel everywhere in a car.  But for those of us in urban settings, going on foot we need a bag that is pocketable for those surprise purchases.

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Opt-In #bagban

I found this story today about Durango, Colorado’s bag law that went into effect earlier this month, which is not actually a plastic bag ban.  We will have to watch and see if this law has an effect on the number of reusable bags being brought in by customers in this area.

According to the author’s research only 4 stores in Durango are subject to the bag law and are required to charge a small fee for a plastic or paper shopping bag.  Other stores can voluntarily charge the fee for their bags and remit the fees to the governing agency.

Do these small per bag charges encourage the use of reusable shopping bags?  Or, do you use your reusable shopping bags as a method of conservation?

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The Smartkit, with its Smartbag Thermo insulated grocery bag and 2 Smartbag Basic reusable shopping bag is just one many great Bolsalista products.  Find more reusable shopping bags at


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Please share the Smartkit and Just in Case

We need your help!
Bolsalista has been selected to participate in Walmart’s Get on the Shelf competition for 2013.  Through September 2nd voting will be taking place via the Get on the Shelf website.  The semi finalists will all be featured in a video series about the competition.  The finalists’ products will be featured on and the winners will also be stocked in all Walmart stores. 
This is a great opportunity to get more environmentally responsible products on the shelves of the world’s largest retailer.  To make this happen we need your help sharing our products on the Get on the Shelf site to your social networks.
There are several paths to share the Bolsalista voting pages on the Get on the Shelf website:
  • Click share, to your pages and your personal walls, on both Get on the shelf posts on the Bolsalista Facebook page - we will be resharing these daily through Sept 2nd.
Click retweet on any Bolsalista tweets about the Get on the Shelf competition - we will be tweeting daily Share the Get on the Shelf pages with your networks
Finally, we ask that you visit the Get on the Shelf site daily through September 2nd and cast your votes for both featured Bolsalista products.  Each vote takes only 2 clicks.
Thank you for helping make this happen!
-Ian @ Bolsalista
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Our first ever documentary about the Bolsalista Smartkit set of reusable shopping bags that includes one insulated shopping bag, the Smartbag Thermo, and two reusable shopping bags,the Smartbag Basic.  

This set is enterered in the 2013 Walmart Get on the Shelf competition.  You can place your vote at through September 2nd, 2013.

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