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Plastic Bag Bill Faces Battle In Sacramento

Bill Would Ban Single-Use Plastic Grocery Bags

Audio

Aired 8/9/10

The fate of legislation to ban plastic grocery bags in California may be decided this week. Supporters are fighting for every vote. The legislation would require reusable bags and prohibit grocery, liquor and convenience stores from distributing single-use plastic bags.

The fate of legislation to ban plastic grocery bags in California may be decided this week. Supporters are fighting for every vote.

A cashier bags groceries in plastic bags at Nijiya Market June 2, 2010 in San Francisco, California.
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Above: A cashier bags groceries in plastic bags at Nijiya Market June 2, 2010 in San Francisco, California.

The legislation would require reusable bags and prohibit grocery, liquor and convenience stores from distributing single-use plastic bags.

Supporters say the bags get blown out of trash cans and garbage trucks, polluting waterways and harming wildlife.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he'd sign the bill, the legislation has passed the Assembly, and it's now in a Senate committee.

If the bill doesn't make it out of committee, the effort to ban plastic bags would be over for this year.

Opponents of the legislation, including the plastics industry, say a ban would cost jobs at a time when the economy is struggling.

"The opponents believe that passage would cost California jobs," said Steve Aceti, executive director of the California Coastal Coalition. "We're arguing whether or not that's really the case. But, it resonates with some moderate Democrats and that's where we are."

Aceti said the support of those moderate Democrats is crucial for the bill to have a chance at passing.

He said if the bill fails this year, similar legislation to ban plastic grocery bags would likely be introduced again next year.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Richard123'

Richard123 | August 31, 2010 at 7:54 a.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

I think the jobs issue is a bad one because it would create jobs making and selling reuseable bags.However, I am verymuch opposed to the ban. I think it will discourage purchases and therefore be bad for the economy. I also think if it were put to a popular vote it would go down decisively and I think democracy is more important than a ban on bags.
This issue has whiskers on it. Twenty five years ago I would have supported it. Now I think, make the bags effectively biodegradable.

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Avatar for user 'danieland'

danieland | June 19, 2012 at 8:26 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

http://www.hammerplastics.com
Banning the use of plastic bags would certainly help to reduce the amount of waste and lighten the burden on plastic use, but it should first be made with jobs in mind. We do not want more people to lose jobs in this economy.

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