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California on Track to Impose First Statewide Ban on Plastic Bags

Gov. Jerry Brown said he “probably will” sign a bill backed by environmentalists that would ban single-use plastic grocery bags.
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California is on track to become the first state to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. Responding to a question in a gubernatorial debate Thursday night with challenger Neel Kashkari, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown said he “probably will” sign a compromise bill approved by the state Legislature last week. “There are about 50 cities with their own plastic bag ban and that’s causing confusion, and that’s why the grocers themselves said, ‘let's have one statewide ban that’s reasonable,'" Brown said. He added that the bill takes into account “the needs of the environment and the needs of the economy and the needs of the grocers.” Kashkari said he would not sign the bill if he were governor.

The bill, among the most hotly debated of the legislative session, would ban single-use plastic bags like those commonly offered in grocery stores. Grocers would be allowed to offer paper or reusable plastic bags for a fee. Scores of cities and counties in California already have similar bans in place. Environmentalists say plastic bags often end up as litter and can be a hazard to marine life.



— James Eng