California Assembly approves statewide ban on plastic bags

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Updated: 8/28 4:40 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The state Assembly has approved legislation that would impose the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.

SB270 passed on a 44-29 vote Thursday after failing to advance earlier in the week. It now heads to the Senate, where it must be approved by Sunday.

Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles says his bill will reduce the buildup of plastic waste in oceans and waterways that cost millions of dollars to cleanup.

SB270 also authorizes retailers to charge 10-cent fees for paper and reusable bags. Opponents of both parties say the fee unfairly punishes customers.

Plastic bag manufacturers have lobbied heavily against the bill, saying it will cost 2,000 manufacturing jobs in California. An influential grocer's union, which had withdrawn its support earlier, now backs the bill.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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