Assembly votes to ban plastic grocery bags

June 3, 2010

The state Assembly has passed legislation prohibiting California pharmacies and grocery, liquor, and convenience stores from using plastic bags. The bill also calls for customers to be charged for using store-issued paper bags. [AP]

Lawmakers say the purpose of the bill is to reduce the number of plastic bags headed for the landfill and to get rid of the bags that commonly end up in the ocean or riverways.

Other countries including Ireland, China, and South Africa already use fees or bans to reduce the amount of plastic bags.

In 2007, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to require supermarkets and large drug stores to offer customers only bags made from recyclable material.

AB 1998 still needs to clear the Senate. Gov. Schwarzenegger has already indicated his willingness to sign the legislation, hailing it as “a great victory for our environment.”

The American Chemistry Council argues that the bill, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2012, would amount to a $1 billion tax and cost 500 jobs in the plastic bag manufacturing business.

Republicans questioned whether some families could afford the fee for paper bags, estimated by some to be an additional $50 a year.



  1. Willow says:

    “The bill also calls for customers to be charged for using store-issued paper bags.”

    I thought paper bags were more eco-friendly.  So that’s not good enough anymore?

    And since when does the State tell private companies what they should charge their customers for – and isn’t the price of the bag already included in the overhead that’s tacked onto the final cost the consumer pays?  Who gets that fee?  The state or the store?

    Just another example of big brother meddling in private business.

    Hey, and don’t get me wrong – I usually take my own bags into the grocery store myself.  But what if I’m buying more than my bags can handle?  Or what if I’m traveling?  Or what if …..?

    If the state is getting the money, then it’s just another way that they’re using the environment to keep their coffers full so they don’t have to tighten their belts and work within their budget, but are coming up with any excuse to take our money to pay for their incompetence.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  2. Spectator says:

    Ha! And next the assembly will vote to ban paper, throw away diapers! Far worse problem!

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  3. ThomasPaine says:

    Good law and about time. We are way behind more developed societies in this area.

    (-8) 10 Total Votes - 1 up - 9 down
    • Spectator says:

      To ThomasPaine: Which more developed societies?

      (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  4. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    Ah nanny Gov’t. telling us again how to live our lives. I wonder when people will say enough already?

    (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
  5. rukidding says:

    I would recommend that EVERYONE read the book A Nation Under Arrest. This appears to be another “law” passed not to address any criminal activity put to put in place another way to be fined or taxed for the benefit of the government.

    (14) 16 Total Votes - 15 up - 1 down
    • mkaney says:

      California makes practically all of its citizens criminals who owe fines by default. Check out this example directly from the CA State Board of Equalization website describing a consumer’s responsibility with regard to use tax:

      “14.Last week while visiting relatives in Maine I purchased $200 in stereo equipment for use with my system at home in Sacramento, California. When I purchased the equipment I was charged five percent Maine sales tax. Do I owe California use tax on this purchase?

      Yes, however, Revenue and Taxation Code section 6406 allows you to take a credit for sales or use tax paid to another state. Therefore, a portion of the California use tax you owe on the purchase is offset by the sales tax you paid to the retailer in Maine. Since the sales and use tax rate in Sacramento is 8.75%, use tax of $17.50 would be due on your purchase. However, after deducting the $10 in Maine sales tax you paid when you purchased the equipment, you would only owe $7.50 in California use tax on the purchase.”

      CA State Board of Equalization – Your Use Tax Responsibility

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  6. Saveslocounty says:

    The loss of an additional 500 jobs is insane. The State can’t keep it’s own budget balanced and now wants to shift an additional $50 burden on each household. A win for the environment is a loss in priorities for this State.

    (7) 17 Total Votes - 12 up - 5 down
    • vanessap says:

      Canvas bags are often given out for FREE at Health Food Fairs and the like- something American families should be attending anyway. If they bring their own, they won’t have to pay for the paper ones.

      (-3) 15 Total Votes - 6 up - 9 down
      • Saveslocounty says:

        But voluntary compliance and free canvas bags would not require a law.

        (10) 14 Total Votes - 12 up - 2 down

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