Image courtesy of swanksalot via flickr
Following the unceremonious axing a few months ago of a proposal that would've banned outright the use of plastic bags, several L.A.-based state legislators are once again girding for battle over the introduction of a bill that would impose a 25-cent fee on the use of the offending bags. AB 2829, sponsored by Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles), would use the proceeds from the fee to fund litter prevention and reduction efforts. A competing bill, AB2058, introduced by Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), would only support voluntary reduction measures; as Emerald City's Siel points out in her post on the fee, this meeker measure closely resembles a voluntary plastic bag reduction measure that was enacted by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.Predictably, industry officials and lobbyists are coming out of the woodworks (who's ever heard of the Progressive Bag Affiliates of the American Chemistry Council?) to urge legislators to just chill out and wait to see how the existing state law, which calls for recycling, plays out. Thankfully -- at least for now -- the Board of Supervisors has endorsed the tougher bill. We'll see how close California gets to clamping down on the use of plastic bags this Monday when the Assembly's Committee on Natural Resources votes on the measure.
Call us skeptics (and we hope we're wrong on this), but whenever an environmental organization describes a proposed bill as the "toughest statewide policy we've seen to date," we worry it will either languish on the floor of the Assembly or get shot down outright.