California to be the First State to Ban Plastic Bags


Our Thursday green news brings you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:

green architecture, recycled archite

Photo courtesy Stéphane Groleau

  • California to be the first state to ban plastic bags: The state of California is about to become the first state in the nation to ban a single-use plastic bags, which will significantly help to reduce plastic waste. Based on the new legislation, supermarkets and pharmacies will have to eliminate free shopping plastic bags by July of 2015; while smaller retailers will have one year more to implement their no bag policy. However, all stores will still have an option to sell recycled shopping bags to its customers for a cost of at least 10 cents per bag. California has already been a national leader in this area although the ban has so far been limited only to areas like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Marin County. These communities have demonstrated how such efforts can be successful without creating a burden to shoppers. Altogether 124 Californian cities and/or counties have taken the initiative with the goal to eliminate excessive bag consumption and waste, which ends up in large amounts in local waterways and in the ocean. Plastic bag pollution is currently a serious problem worldwide. See also No more plastic shopping bags in Chicago.
  • Unused church recycled into a public library: As many other churches around the state of Quebec, this modern 1964 church building in Quebec City has lost its original purpose when its attendance fell below 10%. Yet, with its successful conversion into a public library, it found a new purpose for public service. A work of architect Dan Hanganu, now the Monique-Corriveau Library, named after a famous Quebec childrens’ author, is an elegant demonstration of an adaptive reuse of a mid-century building for a more modern use. And unlike churches, libraries are actually on a rise across North America. As Dan Hanganu explains: “Converting and expanding such an eloquent example of modern Quebec architectural heritage is a very delicate operation which must be approached with respect and humility.[…] Saint-Denys-du-Plateau Church deserves this special consideration due to its unusual, dynamic volume, which evokes a huge tent inflated by the wind and anchored to the ground with tensioners.”
green architecture, recycled architecture

Photo courtesy Stéphane Groleau


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