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Environment

Plastic Bag Bill Faces Battle In Sacramento

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

Bill Would Ban Single-Use Plastic Grocery Bags

Plastic Bag Bill Faces Battle In Sacramento
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.

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.

What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.