SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Plastic bags will continue to be an option at California supermarkets following the failure Tuesday by the California Senate to pass a bill that would have prohibited distribution of single-use plastic bags — although approximately 75 cities around the state are considering similar legislation at the local level.
Assembly Bill 1998, which evolved from a compromise between business and the environmental community, would have created a statewide standard prohibiting plastic bags and providing incentives for consumers to utilize reusable bags. Several cities put their own efforts on hold pending the outcome of the statewide legislation.
The California Grocers Association here blamed the Senate's failure to pass the bill on "a furious and unprecedented lobbying effort by the American Chemistry Council."
According to Ronald Fong, CGA president, "The chemical industry used grossly inflated figures and deceptive imagery in its campaign [against AB 1998]. It threw up a smokescreen that may have worked today but, once the air clears, it will find Californians will still demand a bag ban."
Fong said AB 1998 "would have established a statewide standard designed to bring predictabilitey to consumers and operational and competitive fairness to retailers. This bill would have been good for consumers, good for business and good for the environment, and its defeat is a failure for Californians."