On Friday, September 5, the California Senate gave the green light to the bill (with 22 votes in favor and 15 against), which has to be ratified by Brown for it to take effect. I would do it before the end of September. "I will probably sign it, yes," the Democratic governor declared during a televised debate with his Republican opponent Neel Kashkari.
Brown justified his position by recalling that "about 50 cities have already banned plastic bags, which causes great confusion," reports the Los Angeles Times and other media. "It is a commitment that takes into account the needs of the environment, the economy and the demands of merchants," added the governor.
"Disposable plastic bags are not only trash on our beaches, but also in our mountains, deserts, rivers, streams and lakes," said Senator Alex Padilla, who has supported the project from the beginning.
More than 10 billion plastic bags are used in California each year, according to an estimate by Californians Against Waste, an advocacy group that supports the bill. On the other hand, Cathy Browne, CEO of Crown Poly, a plastic bag manufacturer in California, stated that the bill would lead to layoffs at companies like hers.
Single-use bags would disappear from food stores and pharmacies as of July 1, 2015, and from small supermarkets and beverage outlets as of July 1, 2016. These stores will be able to offer bags of paper or recyclables at a price of 10 cents.