Lawmaker proposes banning plastic grocery bags in California

At an Albertsons store in Hacienda Heights, an employee puts a reusable bag filled with purchases into a shopping cart. The customer brought the bag to the store.
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Sixty cities including Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Pasadena already have acted to ban single-use plastic bags at store checkout lines, and now a lawmaker says it is time for the rest of the state to follow suit.

State Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) has introduced legislation that would prohibit large retail stores throughout California from providing single-use carryout bags to customers starting in 2015. Starting in July 2016, the ban would extend to convenience food stores, food marts and other smaller businesses under SB 405.

Stores would be able to sell recycled paper bags, compostable bags or reusable bags to customers. In Los Angeles paper bags are available for 10 cents each.


The idea of having a state law on the subject was welcomed by Ron Fong, president and chief executive of the California Grocers Assn., who stopped short of endorsing the specific bill.

“Our industry supports efforts to achieve a statewide solution to single-use carryout bag regulation in California,” Fong said. “With a patchwork of more than 60 local ordinances, compliance becomes a challenge for grocery retailers, and consumers become confused about their options at the check stand.”


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