California bill seeks to ban plastic shopping bags

Lawmakers are preparing to decide whether California should become the first state to ban disposable plastic shopping bags.

The state Senate is schedule to vote Tuesday on the bill, which has been the subject of a furious lobbying campaign by the plastic bag manufacturing industry. It calls the legislation a job killer.

Supporters of AB1998 say the 19 billion plastic bags Californians use every year harm the environment and are costly to collect and transport to landfills.

The ban, if eventually signed into law, would take effect in supermarkets and large retail stores in 2012. The ban would apply to smaller stores in 2013.

A few cities, including San Francisco, have instituted their own bans on plastic bags.

© 2010 The Associated Press.