Southern California environment news and trends

California updates environmental curriculum over plastic bag chapter

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A pile of plastic bags await recycling.

The current war being waged regarding single-use plastic bags goes beyond just how customers tote their wares out of restaurants and retail stores. It was discovered last year that the American Chemical Council had successfully lobbied California school officials to include positive messages about such plastic bags in the state’s environmental curriculum.

As reported by California Watch, the California Environmental Protection Agency has been allowed to rewrite the curriculum, which no longer includes a section entitled “The Advantages of Plastic Shopping Bags” and has been updated with current recycling statistics.

"Our concern always with the curriculum was to ensure integrity and accuracy," explained Bryan Ehlers, the California EPA’s assistant secretary for education and quality programs to California Watch. "We went back and looked at the whole unit and really picked through it with a fine-tooth comb."