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Groundbreaking Legislation Passed in California State Assembly

The California State Legislature today passed legislation aimed at greatly reducing the use of single-use plastic bags. The bill would require a 25 cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags at large grocery stores and pharmacies statewide, if a 70% reduction in bag usage is not achieved by the end of 2010. Similar fees in other countries have had extreme success, reducing bag use by upwards of 90%. Paper bags have been included in the fee provisions of the bill, further encouraging the use of reusable bags by shoppers. Surfrider Foundation supports the strengthening of the bill to include biodegradable bags in the bill as these bags do not decompose in the ocean and present the same hazards as other bags to marine life. The groundbreaking legislation, which can set a national precedent, now moves onto the California State Senate. Check these pages for further updates on the bill which is entitled AB 2058, Recycling: plastic carryout bags, paper carryout bags.