A Democratic bill that would have been the first statewide ban on plastic shopping bags in California, has been rejected. The bill called for the ban to take effect in supermarkets and large retail stores in 2012. American Chemistry Council opposed the bill.
Supporters of the bill said that 19 billion plastic bags are used in the state each year and they harm the environment and cost the state $25 million annually to collect and transport to landfills. Some lawmakers opposed it, saying it would add an extra burden on consumers and businesses at a time when many are struggling financially. Several California cities- Palo Alto, Malibu and Fairfax in Marin County, have already started to ban the use of plastic bags.