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Environment

California Plastic Bag Ban May Soon Qualify For Ballot

Associated Press
A plastic shopping bag litters the roadside in Sacramento, Oct. 25, 2013.

Opponents of California's statewide ban on single-use plastic bags are close to getting their repeal initiative on the 2016 ballot.

TheCalifornia bag ban is supposed to take effect next summer, but the plastic bag industry is bank-rolling a repeal initiative.

Opponents of the ban have already raised nearly $3 million to gather 500,000 signatures. The majority of the funding has come from plastic bag manufacturer, Hilex Poly, according to the Sacramento Business Journal.

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Mark Murray, a member of Californians Against Waste, supports the bag ban. He said California will still have a host of local bag bans in place no matter what happens with the initiative.

"A third of the state of California will no longer have plastic bags," Murray said. "The statewide bag ban is basically tying up the loose ends, taking these very successful local plastic bag bans and applying that same concept statewide."

Murray said he's confident voters will reject the measure to overturn the statewide ban.

"The problem with the referendum is that it would postpone implementation of the ban that's already been passed by the legislatures," Murray said. "So that means more plastic bags, more clean-up costs, more costs for stores and consumers."