California lawmakers pass first US plastic bag ban

August 30, 2014 - 4:04 AM
Plastic Bag Ban

State Senators Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, left, and Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, celebrate after lawmakers approved Padilla's bill to ban single-use plastic bags at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. By a 22-15 vote, the Senate approved SB270 that makes California the first state to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. The bill now goes to Gov Jerry Brown. De Leon had previously opposed the bill, but gave his support after protections were added for plastic bag manufacturers.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Lawmakers are sending Gov. Jerry Brown a bill that would make California the first to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.

SB270 cleared the Senate on a 22-15 vote Friday. It was approved by the Assembly a day earlier.

Senators who had previously opposed the bill, including incoming Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, this time supported the measure after protections were added for plastic bag manufacturers.

The bill would prohibit single-use plastic bags at grocery stores and large pharmacies in 2015 and at convenience stores in 2016.

It includes $2 million in loans to help manufacturers shift to producing reusable bags and lets grocers charge 10 cents each for paper and reusable bags.

A statewide ban had been a goal for lawmakers trying to reduce the buildup of plastic waste. About 100 local jurisdictions in California already have adopted similar bans.