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California Lawmakers To Vote On Plastic Bag Ban This Week

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The bill would ban plastic bags in supermarkets, drug stores and convenience and liquor stores. Forgot your own bag? Under the legislation, you could buy a recycled paper bag for at least a nickel. Democratic Assemblywoman Julia Brownley wrote the bill. She says Californians use 19 billion plastic bags a year that pollute the ocean, hurt wildlife and cost money to clean up:
"These bags cost Californians more than 25 million dollars a year to collect and bury in landfills. These are costs we cannot afford to continue to bear.”

The California Grocers Association opposed the ban, but now supports it. They say a statewide standard is better than a patchwork of local ones.  A spokesman for the Governor says Schwarzenegger also supports the bill.  But plastic bag manufacturers do not. Tim Shestek with the American Chemistry Council says it would cost the state jobs and cost Californians an extra billion dollars a year in paper bag fees at the checkout counter.   If the bill passes the Assembly it would head next to the Senate.
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