California has become the first US state to sign into law a ban on single-use plastic bags, including those used for bagging up purchases at grocery stores. The legislation is meant to cut down on waste throughout the state and to help protect its land from pollution. The ban will begin this coming July in grocery stores and pharmacies, and it’ll expand to convenience stores and liquor stores one year later. “This bill is a step in the right direction,” California Governor Jerry Brown says in a statement. “It reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks, and even the vast ocean itself.