Feb 21 - Introduced Bag Bill to Reduce Cleanup Costs, Grocery Prices

Senator Alex Padilla (D - Pacoima) has just introduced a bag bill that reduces plastic bag litter and removes the hidden cost of providing these single-use bags for "free" at checkout counters.

SB 405 would lower the negative environmental and economic impacts of single use plastic bags. Starting in 2015, the measure prohibits large grocery stores from distributing free plastic bags at checkout, while allowing the sale of reusable, recyclable paper, or compostable bags.

Californians use roughly 14 billion plastic bags each year, many times for just a few minutes before they are thrown away or littered. These bags can impact our wildlife and are a visual blight.

Local taxpayers pay an estimated 96.7 million dollars annually to manage plastic bags on our streets, in our drainage systems, and through waste management. The average household also spends up to $40 each year in higher grocery prices to offset the costs of "free" single use bags distributed by retailers.

Stay tuned to see how you can support this bill by writing to your legislator. Check our website or Facebook page or sign up for email updates as the legislative session progresses.

See what's going on locally with bag ordinances.