Imagine no more plastic bags inside retail stores or paying a few cents more to use them. Some of you already use reusable bags when you go grocery shopping, and some stores like Trader Joe's use recyclable paper bags, gearing toward more environmentally-friendly shopping.
The Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) is looking at drafting a regional ordinance banning plastic bags at retail stores.
This isn't a new movement in California. Already 80 cities across the state, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have already banned plastic bags.
"I think it's long overdue. I mean other cities are using them for a reason, and it's working out really well," says Marie Standing, a Santa Monica resident who's visiting the desert, "It's a small inconvenience for people, but it has a huge impact on the environment."
She goes grocery shopping with her colorful reusable bags, saying once you get into the habit of it, it's really easy. Other people in the Valley are a bit more skeptical.
"Personally, I think it's a waste of time to implement it. People are going to do what they're going to do, and plastic bags are so economical I can't imagine all the supermarkets doing without them," expresses Erick Meeks, a resident of Palm Springs.
But the impacts will be huge says CVAG and other city leaders who have researched and discussed the proposal for some time.
"Most of these [plastic bags] are ending up in the environment or landfills. In landfills they're sitting there for a long time. They take sometimes hundreds or thousands of years to break down," explains Tony Bagato, Principal Planner for the City of Palm Desert.
He adds that it would be a "limited use" of plastic bags because they're still needed for some produce like meats and vegetables.
Ultimately, it will be up to the cities to implement such an ordinance if it is passed on the October 28 meeting between CVAG's Executive Board and city officials. If all parties like the proposal, then a committee will be assigned to write and revise the regional ordinance implementing parts of the drafts already written in the cities of Palm Desert and Palm Springs.
The California Grocers Association, a non-profit representing the food industry, supports this regional ordinance proposal.