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California One Step Closer to Banning Single-Use Plastic Bags

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Photo by cuttlefish via Flickr

Photo by cuttlefish via Flickr
Assembly Bill 1998, which would ban single-use plastic bags, passed out of committee today and will now be taken to the Assembly floor for a vote. Santa Monica Assemblywoman Julia Brownley’s bill prohibits any retail establishment that meets the definition of a “supermarket” from distributing plastic or paper single-use bags.

The bill’s entrance into full Assembly marks the furthest Brownley‘s bill on plastic bags has gone. Her last bill, AB 68, which taxed single-use bags never made it out of committee.

The bill, however, has been amended. Assembly leaders did not want advance the bill without the support of trade associations for large grocers and retailers, according to KPBS. So instead if you forget your own grocery bag you have the option of buying a recyclable paper bag partly made from post-consumer products.

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Brownley will announce the bill’s new developments on Tuesday at a press conference in Sacramento that will include actresses Amy Smart and Rachelle Lefevre, as well as Heal the Bay Director Sarah Sikich and President of California Grocers Association Ronald Fong.

The full Assembly has until next Friday, June 4th to pass the bill and send it to the Senate for consideration. If passed there, AB 1998 will head to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for a final signature to be made into law starting Jan. 1, 2012.