After falling just four votes short of the required 41 on Monday, SB270, which would be the country’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, passed the California assembly Thursday by a vote of 44-29. The legislation now heads to the state senate, where it must be approved by Sunday.

According to state senator Alex Padilla, his bill would:

  • Prohibit, beginning July 1, 2015, grocery stores and pharmacies from making available single-use plastic bags.
  • If paper bags are offered to customers, they would have to include recycled content.
  • Prohibit, beginning July 1, 2016, convenience stores and liquor stores from making available single-use plastic bags.
  • Grandfather in existing local ordinances.
  • Provide up to $2 million in competitive loans to businesses transitioning to the manufacture of reusable bags.

The Sacramento Bee notes that “in a key late change, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union – grocery store workers – aligned with skeptics denouncing a minimum 10-cent fee stores could charge at checkout counters for paper or reusable bags.”

Not everyone is hoping the bill passes the senate.


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