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One Week Left to Pass Ban on Plastic Bags

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Photo by ninjapoodles via Flickr

Photo by ninjapoodles via Flickr
The proposed statewide ban on plastic bags has until next Friday, June 4th to pass or the process starts all over again. Supporters are calling for a final push to secure AB 1998's survival, which will ban the use of plastic bags at grocery and retail stores. Many people feel that ban will directly result in marine protection in an area known as the Pacific Garbage Patch, which extends from Hawaii to San Francisco, containing exceptionally high numbers of plastic waste.

In a mass e-mail, Environment California's Legislative Director Dan Jacobson said "Our bill is under attack. Plastic bag manufacturers are fighting to prevent the bill from coming up for a vote."

Being a trade association promoting public image of chemical industry products, with a special emphasis on plastics, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) has a specific interest in this legislation. In April, the ACC sent a formal letter to Assemblywoman Julia Brownley with an ultimatum: “Oppose Unless Amended” (full letter below). They support the bill’s intention of reducing plastic litter but propose the solution is to increase recycling programs, not ban them. Under Brownley’s bill, grocery and retail stores will no longer be required to accept plastic bags for recycling.

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“Additionally a recent reuse study revealed that 92% of people reuse their plastic grocery bags for a myriad of household uses” said Allyson Wilson, an ACC Spokesperson, in an e-mail to LAist. She says that people will still buy plastic bags for these other uses and then not have the recycling infrastructure to back it up.

Either way the fight for support is heating up as the bill meets its deadline. Previously: Will California Ban Plastic Bags?

ACC letter to Brownley