California close to banning plastic bags, legislators say

Jan. 24, 2014 at 5:53 PM

SACRAMENTO, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- California legislators have reached an agreement on a statewide ban on carry-out single-use plastic bags at retail stores, officials said.

The compromise measure calls for retailers to charge customers at least 10 cents for a reusable, paper or compostable bag, U-T San Diego reported Friday. The bill would provide $2 million in grants and loans to retrain plastic-bag industry workers for recycling jobs.

Similar legislation fell short in a legislature vote last year.

Single-use plastic bags have come under scrutiny since research shows they often end up as litter on road sides, beaches and in the ocean, where they become hazards for marine mammals, birds and fish.

No state has enacted a statewide ban on plastic bags, although each of Hawaii's four counties has a ban and cities and towns in California have passed their own prohibitions, U-T San Diego said.

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