They're common sights around any town — abandoned in shopping carts, clogging gutters, strewn by the breeze across parks and front lawns.
For defenders of the environment, plastic grocery bags have long been a source of agony and irritation. Starting this month, though, the state of California is taking action to reign them in. An assembly bill that took effect on July 1 has mandated that a number of grocery stores adopt in-store recycling programs, with collection bins for used bags and reusable bags for sale to customers.
The first week of July, grocery stores throughout Newport-Mesa began setting up bins in front to allow customers to drop in their bags. Marlyn Denter, the public affairs director for Vons, said her stores had been recycling plastic for years and relished the opportunity to open more customers' eyes.