california strikes down proposal to ban plastic bags
Opponents of the bill argue that the ban is too strong to regulate individual choices.
The measure AB 1998, adopted by the General Assembly on June, will cancel the single-
Starting in 2012, plastic bags are used in grocery stores and pharmacies, and plastic bags are used in liquor stores and convenience stores in 2013.
The bill, which was rejected by the Senate, aims to encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable toys.
If there is no tote bag, they can buy one at the store or a recyclable paper bag for 4 to 6 cents.
Some California cities, including San Francisco, have imposed such a ban on plastic bags.
Republicans and some Democrats oppose the bill, which they say will add extra financial burden to consumers and businesses already facing tough times.
\"If we pass this legislation, we will send a message to the people of California that we are more concerned about banning plastic bags than helping them put food on the table, Sen said.
R-Mimi WaltersLake Forest.
Julia Browley, the lawmaker who wrote the bill, said rejecting the bill was a failure for the people of California.
\"It\'s not a question of whether or not, it\'s a question of when consumers bring their own luggage and become good stewards of the environment,\" Brownlee said in a statement on Wednesday morning . \".
For three years, Browley has been trying to resolve the issue through legislation.
She said the bags blocked California\'s waterways and polluted the ocean, causing losses to various wildlife.
\"Plastic bags are a ubiquitous product,\" she said . \"\"Consumers [have been]
Its use has grown exponentially over the past decade. \"[California]
19 billion plastic bags are used every year. . . .
We use them for 10 minutes and it takes 1,000 years to break them down.
To clean up the mess, the state government spends $25 million a year, she said.
\"It\'s very difficult to really clean it up thoroughly,\" Brownlee said . \".
\"It\'s very easy for us to change our habits.
\"We have grocery stores, retailers and labor to support this bill,\" she said . \".
While environmental activists have announced the bill in the past few years, grocery store owners joined the fight last year, she said.
\"They decided to let them in,\" the member said . \". \"[
Statewide regulations on plastic bags
It\'s good for them and their business model.
\"The US chemical commission is the biggest opponent of the ban.
\"I don\'t emphasize enough about this. . . .
This is their battlefield . \"
\"ACC objected to this.
Hire lobbyists, display ads, and broadcast targeted programs.
Keith Christman of the US chemical Commission said more than 500 organizations and companies opposed the ban.
He said some groups are concerned about the cost the plastic bag ban will bring to working families, especially for the purchase of paper bags for $1 billion a year.
\"It doesn\'t help working poor people who have to take their groceries home,\" he said, and it doesn\'t help them forget to bring a reusable tote bag.
\"Dating is not the best way.
People should have the option of packing their groceries.
\"Bill Magavern of the Sierra Club, California, said that California\'s recycling plan has entered its fourth year and it has not worked to reduce the pollution of plastic bags.
His team website says less than 5% people
Recycling using plastic bags.
\"Most recyclers don\'t want them,\" he said . \"
They messed up the machine.
His organization supports the ban.
\"This year\'s bill is the best opportunity to eliminate plastic bag pollution.
It won\'t take all the plastic bags, but it will take [their use]
\"1 million seabirds, including turtles, and 100,000 other animals ate them or were caught in them.
\"Plastic bags use nearly 2 million barrels of oil to make them,\" he said . \".
Christman of the US chemical Commission says his organization believes recycling is the best way.
\"Plastic does not belong to the ocean,\" he said . \" He responded to concerns about wildlife and the environment.
\"We support reduction, reuse and recycling.
\"Prevent garbage,\" Christman said.
\"We work with California State Park and elsewhere to place recycling bins in key locations.
\"According to a study by Moore Recycling Association, recycling of plastic bags and plastic bags nationwide has increased by 28% since 2005
He said the US chemical Commission is concerned that the ban will eliminate recycling infrastructure and work with members to propose legislation to strengthen the state\'s recycling program.
Christman said the committee is more concerned that if the ban is passed, 1,000 California people are expected to be out of work, although the Browley office has set the figure at 500.
A bill amendment added last week will provide $2 million in grants and loans to retain employment opportunities for businesses that produce plastic bags so that they can re-process and produce reusable plastic bags.
A spokeswoman for Brownlee said she believes the bill will create more \"green\" jobs as competitors come to California to expand the production of reusable handbags.
But, says Christman, workers want their jobs.
\"Workers do not want training programs.
\"Millions of people are out of work,\" he said . \".
\"We don\'t need this today.
They want to work.
Plastic bags are banned in four cities in California: San Francisco, Palo Alto, ferfax and Malibu.
Other places, Washington, D. C. C.
Now that paper and plastic bags are priced at 5 cents, Austin, Texas is debating whether plastic shopping bags are banned. California Gov.
Schwarzenegger said he supported the bill.
The Associated Press contributed to the report.
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