California's Compromise: Bag Ban By 2015?

California lawmakers unveiled a compromise bill last Friday that, if passed, would ban single use bags and impose a tax on bags distributed at the checkout as early as 2015. The bill has been a long time coming, the result of pressure from state representatives and environmental groups alike. According to Charlotte Alter of Time Magazine, the changes brought about by the bill would be enormous. She writes:

California Senator Introduces BPA 'Right to Know' Legislation

California Senator Dianne Feinstein (D- Calif.), like many members of the public, has become concerned with the results of studies which demonstrate the harmfulness of bisphenol A to consumers when it is present in food packaging. According to the Breast Cancer Fund's blog, Inside Prevention, Feinstein responded to the growing concerns of her constituency with a new bill which was proposed today. The BPA in Food Packaging Right to Know Act aims to make consumers aware of the products they purchase which contain the chemical. Writes blogger Janet Nudelman:

California Bag Ban Dies in Senate

Despite a number of county and city level plastic bag bans that continue to appear with increasing frequency across the state of California, an effort to pass a bag ban into statewide law has died yet again at the hands of the Senate, KQED reporter Scott Detrow confirms. The recently defeated ban was only the latest manifestation of California's attempts to push a law limiting plastic use through the legislature.

California to Legislators: Stop Bogging Down Bag Bill

California's legislators have a reputation for being environmentally aware and concerned, but Huffington Post blogger and environmental attorney Lisa Kaas Boyle paints a different picture of the supposedly "green" policies California politicians espouse. Boyle writes about a new Senate Bill with a familiar purpose, Senate Bill 405, which is the latest incarnation of the plastic bag ban bill which reappears regularly, and is consistently voted down.

UPDATE: California Judge Sides With ACC on BPA Lawsuit

Proposed legislation that would list bisphenol A as a hazardous chemical under California's Proposition 65 was stalled by a judge last Friday, who has granted a preliminary injunction to the American Chemistry Council's case against listing the chemical. This move effectively removes bisphenol A from the Proposition 65 list until a decision is reached.

California Considers Statewide Bag Ban

The California Grocers Association announced its support for a bill today which proposes banning plastic bags across the entire state -- a move which has given the bill a significant public boost. The bill, SB 405, was introduced by Senator Alex Padilla (D- Pacoima) and would prohibit single use plastic bags from being distributed in pharmacies and grocery stores beginning January 1st, 2015. According to a Los Angeles Times article written by Marc Lifsher, convenience and liquor stores would face the same requirements the following year.

California Decides Bisphenol A is Toxic

California has become the latest state to acknowledge bisphenol A, or BPA, as a chemical with potentially carcinogenic properties according to a new decision which surfaced yesterday, reports the SF Gate News. Contributor Stephanie Lee writes that bisphenol A is being included in the list of chemicals designated under Proposition 65 as cancer causing. The bill exposes such chemicals and:

California Plans to List Bisphenol A as Harmful Chemical

Part of California's Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it intends to add the chemical bisphenol A to its list of dangerous chemicals under Proposition 65, according to a new article from the San Jose Mercury News this weekend. Writes contributor Sandy Kleffman, the agency has stated that bisphenol A meets Prop. 65's standards for chemicals which pose a risk to human health. However, this change might not necessarily be the beginning of substantial change for consumers. Kleffman comments that:

CA EPA Re-Writes Info on Plastic Bags for School Curriculum

After significant pressure from environmental groups, the state of California's Environmental Protection Agency has revised the curriculum in planned to include in textbooks, lowering figures to more accurately reflect the amounts of plastic bags recycled each year, as well as eliminating a controversial section that was to discuss the merits of plastic bags to the environment. According to Mike Verespej of Plastics News: 

California Fails to Ban Plastic Bags, Polystyrene

In a disappointing conclusion to a prolonged debate, California's efforts to pass a bag ban have failed once again, with insufficient support created in the legislature to ensure its passage. According to an article posted on the Plastics News website yesterday, the California Legislature ended its session on August 31st with no Assembly vote on a potential polystyrene ban, and no comment from the Senate on a proposed plastic bag ban.

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