Jun 04, 2010 California moves toward banning plastic shopping bags
California, which has some of the nation's strictest environmental rules, may soon become the first state to ban plastic shopping bags.
Its Assembly passed a bill Wednesday, by a 41-27 vote, to bar grocery stores from offering plastic bags beginning in Jan. 2012. The ban would extend to convenience stores, drugstores and mom-and-pop shops in July 2013.
Consumers would have to carry their goods in reusable bags or pay at least 5 cents for paper bags made of partially recycled content.
GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger supports the bill, which still needs to pass the state Senate, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.
San Francisco and Oakland have already banned plastic bags, and Washington, D.C., now requires grocery stores to charge a nickel for disposable ones, but no state has yet to muster enough support to pass such a ban despite a multiyear push from environmentalists.
What made the difference in California was the support from the California Grocers Association, which previously opposed the bill, according to the Union-Tribune.
David Heylen, spokesman for the grocers group, said the bill's revisions that bar local governments from enacting new or stricter laws made sense, according to the story, noting 20 California municipalities are considering similar laws. He also welcomed its inclusion of other stores.
"We wanted uniformity in who the bill impacts, and we wanted uniformity in how it was enacted," Heylen said in the story.
Environmental groups including Heal the Bay said the bill, which still needs Senate approval, could prompt other states to follow California's lead.
Yet the American Chemistry Council, a trade group for chemistry companies including plastic makers, said the bill could threaten as many as 500 jobs in the Los Angeles area and amount to a $1 billion tax on consumers, according to the story.
張貼者： Melody Liao