On Thursday, the California Assembly approved a bill banning plastic bags from select retail outlets statewide, including supermarkets, pharmacies, convenience stores, and liquor stores. The legislation, which is supported by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, now goes to the state Senate for approval. Opponents of the bill say that plastic bag recycling programs are the answer, but supporters encourage consumers to carry reusable shopping bags, which is the optimal way to reduce plastic waste. If passed, the bill will take effect in January 2012, and it states that stores can still sell paper bags made of at least 40-percent recycled materials.
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