California likely to reconsider statewide plastic bag ban in 2012; Assemblywoman Julia Brownley vowing to try again after her bill was defeated in 2010, but since then it has been used by many of 13 California cities adopting their own bans

LOS ANGELES , November 16, 2011 () – A statewide ban on plastic bags is likely to be reconsidered by the California legislature next year, with the state representative who proposed legislation that failed last year vowing to try again, reported The Examiner on Nov. 14.

State Assemblywoman Julia Brownley said in an interview last week that the bill she would offer could be the same as the failed AB 1998, calling it “fully baked.”

The Democratic representative for Santa Monica noted that AB 1998 has served as the model for many of the 13 municipalities in California that have since adopted their own plastic bag bans.

This includes those passed in the City of San Jose and Unincorporated Los Angeles County. Mandated bag recycling programs now affect about 10% of California residents, The Examiner reported.

Brownley’s new bill, AB 298, is sponsored by Heal the Bay, which aims to boost the percentage of Californians not using single-use plastic bags to 25% by next year. Brownley and Kirsten James of Heal the Bay seem confident that AB 298 will get the support it needs to pass in 2012.

Campaign contributions from the Virginia-based American Chemistry Council, Exxon Mobil Corp. of Texas and South Carolina-based Hilex Poly Co. LLC were thought to have helped defeat the ban in 2010, reported The Examiner.

A single statewide ban would have been easier for franchises, chain clothing stores and supermarkets to deal with than various different ordinances within the state’s communities, all parties had agreed during the AB 1998 debate.

The ban was supported by most large and small markets and clothing retailers, the Examiner reported

In the next 12 months, more communities are expected to be added to those already banning plastics bags in California. Ordinances are in the works in the City of Los Angeles, Pasadena, Monterey, West Hollywood, Culver City, Solano Beach, San Diego County and Davis.

More than US$25 million is spent by the State of California each year to collect and landfill 19 billion single-use, non-biodegradable plastic bags, reported The Examiner.

The primary source of this article is The Examiner, San Francisco, California, on Nov. 14, 2011.

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