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California Rejects Bill to Ban Plastic Shopping Bags

September 02, 2010
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The Associated Press reports, California lawmakers have rejected a bill seeking to ban plastic shopping bags. The Democratic bill would have been the first statewide ban, although a few California cities already prohibit their use. Supporters of the bill said the 19 billion plastic bags state residents use every year harm the environment and cost the state $25 million annually to collect and transport to landfills. It had been the subject of a furious lobbying campaign by the plastic bag manufacturing industry, which called it a job killer. The bill''s main opponent, the Virginia-based American Chemistry Council, spent millions in lobbying fees, radio ads and even a prime-time television ad attacking the measure. The organization represents plastic bag manufacturers such as Dow Chemical Co. and ExxonMobil Corp. Last year, it helped defeat an effort by Seattle to impose a 20-cent fee on the use of plastic or paper grocery bags. The organization issued a statement applauding the bill''s defeat.
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