California is on the verge of imposing a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.
A bill banning plastic bags in California grocery stores, pharmacies, liquor stores and other businesses was passed on August 29 by the state legislature, and is now headed to Gov. Jerry Brown. If signed by Brown, the bill would institute the first statewide ban on plastic bags in the U.S. The bill passed by the Senate allows reusable plastic bags to be sold at grocery stores, and also allows paper bags to be sold to consumers for a minimum of 10 cents.
Cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland already have such bans in place, as do most counties in Hawaii.
If enacted, the California ban would take effect on July 1, 2015, and go into effect for convenience and liquor stores on that date a year later.
Plastic bag and paper bag producers oppose the law, saying it would kill jobs and serve as a tax on consumers. "It's disappointing that members of the Assembly voted to advance 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," said Lee Califf, executive director of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, in a statement.