Summary Of Bill AB 1998
Many cities in California have enacted, or are proposing to enact, plastic bag bans. However, there is no statewide initiative. That is about to change. AB 1998 was introduced Feb 18. If passed it will reduce dangerous plastic bag litter pollution by banning plastic bags at large retail outlets. Plastic bags are a primary component of urban litter pollution. And urban litter pollution is the primary component of marine litter pollution.
Plastic already outweighs plankton in the North Pacific Gyre. Plastic pollution costs California families hundreds of dollars annually in hidden litter clean-up costs. Current retailer practices result in the distribution of approximately 19 billion plastic carryout bags annually. Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, has introduced legislation to ban single-use plastic bags in the state of California. On February 17, 2010, Assemblywoman Brownley introduced Assembly Bill 1998 (AB1998).
Project GreenBag Strongly Supports.
AB1998, if passed, would take effect on July 1, 2011. AB1998 specifically:
- Defines paper carryout bags
- Requires stores to charge a green bag fee for the paper bag
- States how the green bag fee is to be used
- Creates the ‘Paper Bag Pollution cleanup Fund’
- Specifies how the monies in the fund are to be expended
- Requires the state board to administer and enforce the law
Assemblywoman Brownley has been a leader in environmental issues in the state of California. She states,” AB1998 would ban plastic bags and impose a fee on paper bags to wean Californians off their nasty bag habit. We’ve cut other nasty habits, we can cut this habit, too.”