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Assembly approves statewide ban on plastic bags

Posted: August 28, 2014 2:57 p.m.
Updated: August 28, 2014 2:57 p.m.

In this photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, plastic single-use bags are carried past the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif.


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers passed a key hurdle Thursday in imposing the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.

The state Assembly approved SB270 on a 44-29 vote after rejecting the bill earlier in the week. It now heads to the Senate, where it must be approved by Sunday and has support from top Democrats who rejected a similar effort last year.

The new version won support from grocers by allowing them to charge 10 cents for paper and reusable bags, and from some manufacturers by including $2 million in loans to help shift production to reusable bags.

The bill by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, would prohibit single-use plastic bags at grocery stores and large pharmacies in 2015 and at convenience stores in 2016. It has sparked one of the most contentious debates in the last weeks of the legislative session, with aggressive lobbying by environmentalists and bag manufacturers.

For years, a statewide plastic bag ban has been an elusive goal for lawmakers trying to reduce the buildup of plastic waste in oceans and waterways that costs millions of dollars to cleanup. About 100 local jurisdictions in California already have adopted similar bans, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

"We live in a throw-away society," said Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward. "What this bill does is to make an effort to do one little thing: Get people to use reusable bags."

Opposition to the bill has focused on the 10-cent fee, which legislators of both parties have called unfair to consumers.

"We're adding significantly to their costs," said Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills. "This is a tax on our consumers."

The American Forest & Paper Association, representing paper bag makers, says SB270 unfairly treats their commonly recycled products like plastic, while holding reusable plastic bags to a lower standard for recyclable content.

The American Progressive Bag Alliance, a coalition of plastic bag manufacturers, released a statement calling on the Senate to reject a bill that "threatens 2,000 California manufacturing jobs, hurts consumers and puts billions of dollars into the pockets of grocers — without providing any benefit to the environment."

An influential grocer's union, which had withdrawn its support earlier, now backs the bill.


bobforte: Posted: August 28, 2014 8:02 p.m.

More jobs being pushed out of California. The company that makes plastic bags in Los Angeles has already laid off over half their staff due to this reduction in their business.

BrianBaker: Posted: August 28, 2014 8:32 p.m.

"What this bill does is to make an effort to do one little thing: Get people to use reusable bags."

He admits it. This is nothing more than the SOP social engineering bullpuckey we've come to expect from Dem/socialists.

I absolutely detest and despise those ****ers.

10doug: Posted: August 28, 2014 9:21 p.m.

What a bunch of jerks we have running this state!

lars1: Posted: August 28, 2014 10:11 p.m.

after rejecting the bill earlier in the week, it now passed.


The dirtbags in Sacramento are just like our
Santa Clarita Urban Mamagement City Council, weste,mclean,kellar and acoste.

Foundations: Posted: August 29, 2014 12:49 a.m.

I cannot wait to vote this November!

Rocketeer: Posted: August 29, 2014 3:13 a.m.

I wonder if we could this on the ballot as an initiative to the CA Constitution: "All elected officials are forbidden to use any hygiene products, including facial tissues, toilet paper, soap, deodorant, and all feminine products such as tampons and sanitary napkins. Penalties for use are $10,000 per instance and loss of voting rights in the State legislature."

I figure that since Sacramento stinks metaphorically they might as well stink literally. Plus, they might learn an important lesson about banning things.

SCV123: Posted: August 29, 2014 10:44 a.m.

Quit your b*tching. The answer is not to carry around your own bags. There have been non-plastic biodegradable bags (in the same style as the plastic ones) available for quite a while now. If stores are smart, they'll just start using those and continue along like none of this ever happened.

17trillion: Posted: August 29, 2014 11:12 a.m.

"Quit your b*tching."

So says the good little sheep! Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

src: Posted: August 29, 2014 12:05 p.m.

I'm glad this is what our representatives are busy legislating. Not trivial things like keeping business in the state, reducing the tax burden on the working class, a public employment system run a muck, personal rights and freedoms, environmental regulations putting farmers and industry out of business, corrupt public officials and appointees, or the unsustainable illegal immigration problem.

Keep up the Good work, Sacramento.

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