SACRAMENTO - Governor Schwarzenegger is calling for state lawmakers to resurrect a bag ban bill, which would ban single use plastic bags in grocery stores across the state.
He argues, "California uses 120-thousand tons of plastic bags every year and only 5 percent get recycled. and so the rest ends up in trash, in our landfills, live in our streets and beaches and as pollution in our lakes and oceans. In fact, it is estimated that 80 percent of all marine debris is plastic."
The proposed legislation was voted down over the summer.
Tim Shestek works with the American Chemical Council. He says, "This bill was defeated in the state senate, for rightful purposes. This bill was ill conceived, completely unnecessary, would have resulted in putting people out of work, raising grocery costs for hard working families."
Several local governments have adopted similar ordinances in an effort to rid their city of plastic bag waste.
But the Governor says the local efforts aren't enough.
"I think what the locals are doing is a terrific effort. But my preference is do a statewide ban on plastic bags. That's the bottom line.
Schwarzenegger wants lawmakers to reintroduce the bag ban bill during the December special session.
"I think when you look at 20-billion in the hole, the State might have bigger priorities than trying to address plastic bags and putting more people out of work. If that is the message the governor wants to send, that would be unfortunate for those working families around, up and down the State," says Shestek.
The American Chemistry Council was the bag ban bill's biggest opponent last year. They say if lawmakers introduce new legislation banning plastic bags, they'll continue to fight against it.