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Immediate Future of Plastic Bag Ban in Santa Monica Unclear

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Photo by Newtown graffiti via Flickr

Photo by Newtown graffiti via Flickr
The city of Santa Monica has been moving towards a ban of single-use plastic bags, however the next steps in the process are a little less clear right now, thanks to the recent state-wide election, and in the wake of a bag ban approved this week for L.A. County, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press.City Hall is now rethinking their ban as proposed, which would prohibit Santa Monica's stores from providing customers with single-use plastic bags, and mandated they charge a minimum 20 cent per-bag surcharge for paper bags. The issue with that plan, however, is that California voters passed Prop 26, which affects how taxes are levied on industry. The amount Santa Monica would recoup from the paper bag surcharge "would be considered a tax on industry and couldn't be enacted without a two-thirds vote from the public under Prop. 26."

Officials intend to re-draft the ban proposal, and have it come to Council for a vote. They are looking to revise the economic aspect of the ban, namely the surcharge, to match the ban as passed by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, wherein the surcharge on paper bags does not go to any government agency. Santa Monica's vote could take place in January.

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