Patt Morrison for September 1, 2010

The majestic plastic bag lives on in California

Mercer 10040

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Plastic bags have not been banned in the state, but many California cities are pushing forward to ban them

California lawmakers have rejected a statewide ban on plastic bags, but the movement to reduce their harmful impact on the environment lives on. San Francisco became the first city to ban the use of plastic bags in 2007, followed by Palo Alto, Malibu and Fairfax. Los Angeles has tossed the idea around, but so far there's been no law. Supporters of the state bill say 19 billion plastic bags are used in the state annually, and it costs the state $25 million each year to task people for clean-up and transport to landfills. So will this be the end of the momentum for anti-plastic bag lobbyists in the state, adding more mass to the Pacific's trash island, or will those crusaders for the environment see progress at the city level?


Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-41st District covering Santa Monica; Chair of the Assembly Committee on Education and author of the plastic bag bill AB1998

Mark Daniels, Vice President of Environmental Affairs at Hilex Poly Company; Chairman of the Progressive Bag Affiliate of the American Chemistry Council

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