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Plastic Bag Ban Bill Gets Rewrite In Sacramento

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California could become the first state in the country to ban plastic shopping bags. A bill to do just that is being amended to gain support from legislators.

California could become the first state in the country to ban plastic shopping bags. A bill to do just that is being amended to gain support from legislators.

The legislation would require reusable cloth bags and prohibit grocery, liquor and convenience stores from handing out plastic bags.

Supporters of the ban say the bags blow out of trash cans and garbage trucks, landing in waterways and harming wildlife. They say the state spends $25 million to clean up the bags.

The legislation has already passed the State Assembly and the governor has said he will sign it, but a state senate committee is rewriting the bill.

"Thankfully we're not concerned about the legislation being dumbed down or watered down," said Alicia Glassco, marine debris coordinator with San Diego Coastkeeper.

Glassco said the senate rewrite would include a list of materials that could be used to make reusable bags.

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

If passed, the ban would go into effect in 2012.

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