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Plastic Bag Bill Ban Moves Ahead In Sacramento

Editor's note: In our original story, we stated that the proposed law would ban paper bags. If the bill is passed, recycled paper bags would be available for a small price.

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A bill being considered by the California State Assembly Friday would enact a statewide ban on plastic and paper bags at grocery stores.

— A bill being considered by the California State Assembly Friday would enact a statewide ban on plastic bags at grocery stores.

If passed and signed into law by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the legislation would prohibit supermarkets and convenience stores from distributing plastic bags. Recycled paper bags would be available for a reasonable price.

The law would go into effect January 1, 2012.

It also requires retailers to offer reusable bags for sale.

Angela Howe is with the Surfrider Foundation. She said volunteers collected 71,000 plastic bags from state waterways during last year's international coastal cleanup day.

"Plastic bags are an eyesore," said Howe. "The plastic pollution affects 267 species every year and kills or injures 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals every year."

Howe said several California communities, including San Francisco, already have similar bans in place.

But Howe said a statewide ban would provide a consistent standard.

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