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Lobbyists Defend Plastic Bags

Plastic bags must survive the washer
Plastic bags must survive the washer

Consumer choice or an environmental blight? Plastic grocery bags are generating a heated debate and apparently a very high-cost lobbying effort by the industry that makes them, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee.

Santa Monica Assemblymember Julia Brownley authored AB 1998, which would ban plastic bags used by most grocery and drug stores within three years.

The Bee reports that the American Chemistry Council, whose members include Exxon, Dow and other plastic bag manufacturers, is funding an anti-AB 1998 ad campaign and is channeling campaign contributions to Republicans and Democrats alike.

The bag-ban bill has solid support so far, but stay tuned. It would be the first statewide ban in the country. Cities have tackled the issue, though, and San Francisco adopted a plastic bag ban in 2007. But that has brought its own challenges and resistance, as reported by The Bay Citizen. It's just so hard to remember to bring one of those cloth bags you've got piled up at home when you go shopping.

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