California Considers New Statewide Bag Ban Bill

California Considers New Statewide Bag Ban Bill

California’s legislature has introduced a new bill to phase out single-use plastic grocery bags statewide.

Senate Bill 270, introduced by Sens. Alex Padilla and Kevin de Leon, would prohibit supermarkets and drug stores from distributing single-use plastic grocery bags; allow a 10-cent minimum charge for recycled-content paper, reusable and (in some jurisdictions) compostable bags; and place minimum standards on reusable bags.

Proponents say the bill would reduce plastic bag distribution by almost 6 billion bags, according to a news release from Sacramento-based Californians Against Waste.

Previous efforts to enact a statewide policy on single-use plastic grocery bags were derailed because of concerns about jobs at the state’s two plastic grocery bag manufacturers, the environmental group said.

This measure addresses the jobs issue by establishing financial incentives and green manufacturing standards to promote the use and in-state manufacturing of environmentally friendly reusable bags.

“This measure will ensure that lightweight, litter-prone single-use plastic grocery bags are a thing of the past,” said Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste.

The bill is supported by stakeholders, including grocers and retailers, California-based reusable bag manufacturers, environmentalists, waste haulers and recyclers, and local governments.

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