Plastic Bag Ban Fails to Pass in California While Local Governments Pick up the Slack

[img_assist|nid=191511|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=300|height=300]September 2 – California state lawmakers rejected a bill that would have banned plastic bags in supermarkets, liquor stores, and other small food stores across the Golden State. The bill which was previously believed to have the votes necessary to pass, faced strong opposition from bag manufacturers and oil companies.

The American Chemistry Council, which represents ExxonMobil Corp., Dow Chemical Co., and plastic bag manufacturers, was behind much of the lobbying to oppose the plastic bag ban.

In the end, the opposition triumphed by convincing enough state senators to vote no on the bill, eventually defeating the measure with a good margin. Although Gov. Schwarzenegger publicly supported the ban, this was not enough to overcome the opposition.

Despite the failure of the California state government to act, local governments are leading the way, with plastic bag bans already in place in the cities of San Francisco, Palo Alto, Fairfax, and Malibu. The city council in Santa Monica is also getting ready to take up the issue.

Santa Monica City Council member Terry O’Day noted “Single-use plastic bags are a burden to our oceans, our beaches, our economy, and the cleanliness of our city. Other communities have proven that eliminating plastic bags is sensible.”

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