LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Lobbyists for the plastics industry Wednesday warned jobs could be lost if Sacramento lawmakers vote to phase out single-use plastic bags in California grocery stores.
KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports Senate Bill 270, which is co-authored by three Southern California senators, faces a key vote.
In February, State Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pasadena) introduced SB270, which would prohibit grocery stores and pharmacies from making available single-use plastic bags beginning July 1. Under the proposal, if paper bags are offered to customers, they would have to include recycled content.
The ban would apply to convenience stores and liquor stores beginning July 1, 2016.
SB270 would also provide competitive loans and grants for the conversion to reusable bag manufacturing on the condition that workers are retained and retrained during the phase-out of single-use plastic bags, according to lawmakers.
Padilla said while the challenge to similar legislation in the past has traditionally been the Senate, today SB 270 faces new opposition from a strong plastics lobby, which claims 2,000 jobs in the plastic bag manufacturing & recycling industry could be lost if plastics companies are forced to shut down.
Lobbyists say that SB 270 would ban “100 percent recyclable plastic bags while generating billions in profits for grocers with fees on paper and thicker plastic bags,” according to BagTheBan.com.
But Padilla rejected any suggestion that SB270 would adversely affect local and state workers.
“The vast majority of the plastic bags at grocery stores and retailers are coming from out of state,” Padilla said.
If SB270 passes the in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, the bill would advance to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.