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California Senate Throws Out Plastic Bag Ban

State senators voted down a proposal that sought an outright ban on plastic bags throughout California.
June 3, 2013

SACRAMENTO – A proposal to ban plastic shopping bags in California was defeated last week, reports the Sacramento Bee.

The bill, authored by state Sen. Alex Padilla, would have banned retailers in the state from offering plastic shopping bags to consumers beginning in 2015. It would have also allowed stores to charge a fee for paper bags.  

The newspaper writes that Padilla argued that the ban would “help wildlife, reduce litter and be good for local governments responsible for cleaning up.” Other senators chimed in that Californians would get used to carrying their own reusable shopping bags.

Although the bill gained support from some retailers, the measure faced heavy opposition from the plastic bag industry and its group, the American Progressive Bag Alliance:

“Today's vote signals the facts have prevailed in this debate. A ban on 100% recyclable plastic bags would hurt the environment and threaten jobs,” said Mark Daniels, chairman of the Alliance. “We thank the members of the California Senate who rejected this misguided policy prescription based on unfounded stats, junk science and myths, and we hope lawmakers will continue to make responsible decisions on behalf of California's environment and economy.”