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Supporters Hope To Enact Statewide Plastic Bag Ban

Evening Edition

Above: Supporters of a ban on single use plastic bags rallied in San Diego with the hope of pushing their effort statewide.

Aired 8/30/13 on KPBS News.

Supporters of a ban on single use plastic bags rallied in San Diego with the hope of pushing their effort statewide.

— Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, was in San Diego Thursday, to rally support for his effort to ban single use disposable shopping bags.

Although his district is in Los Angeles, Padilla is hoping to enact a plastic bag ban statewide.

"There's nearly 13 billion single use plastic bags that are distributed when we're shopping. That's nearly 400 bags for every man, woman, and child in the state of California," said Padilla. "And according to our state experts, less than three percent of those bags are recycled."

Legislative efforts to ban the bags have already failed twice, thanks in large part to a campaign bankrolled by the American Chemistry Council.

The legislative failure prompted nearly 80 municipalities to pass local bans, including one in Solana Beach. That community is the only one in San Diego County to implement a single use plastic bag ban.

The state's grocers want to eliminate the patchwork system of local ordinances and replace them with one statewide rule.

"It is tough for customers, it is tough for our members," said Sarah Paulson Sheehy of the California Grocers Association. "You could literally have a store on one side of the street that is under a carryout bag ordinance and a store on another side of the street is not. That confuses everybody."

Clean water advocates say the time for the ban has finally come.

"We've tolerated their impacts to marine life," said Jill Witkowski, San Diego Coastkeeper. "We've tolerated the blight on our beaches. Our roadsides, our parks and our communities. Not anymore. There's no need to."

Padilla's bag ban bill comes up for another vote in December.

Comments

Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | August 30, 2013 at 9:26 a.m. ― 1 year ago

Never mind that the bags that they sell for a dollar have been associated with salmonella. Never mind that most people actually reuse the plastic bags. It is all about the "greenies" feeling like they are doing something.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 30, 2013 at 1:18 p.m. ― 1 year ago

Free grocery bags at checkout, plastic or paper, are unheard of in Europe. It is time we followed their lead and made people bring their own cloth bags or buy them in the store.

Why should we pay higher grocery costs and put up with more plastic pollution so people can be lazy? No more!

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Avatar for user 'MarineRoom'

MarineRoom | September 9, 2013 at 8:15 p.m. ― 1 year ago

CalifDef:

I agree. If Hawaii can do it, so can we.

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