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California Governor Signs Law to Ban Plastic Bags

California Is First State to Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags 2:04

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on Tuesday imposing the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags as a way to address litter, primarily in waterways. Senate Bill 270 was one of the last major bills pending Tuesday, the deadline for the governor to sign or veto the hundreds of bills sent to him during the final weeks of the legislative session. The legislation prohibits large grocery stores from carrying single-use bags starting in July 2015, expanding to smaller stores the year after. It also allows businesses to charge 10-cent fees to provide customers with reusable or paper bags. More than 100 cities and counties, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, have their own plastic bag bans. "This bill is a step in the right direction -- it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself," Brown said in a statement. "We're the first to ban these bags, and we won't be the last." Plastic and paper bag manufacturers opposed to the legislation say it will result in lost manufacturing jobs in California.

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— The Associated Press and NBC News Staff