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Nine votes ultimately defeat California BPA and bag bans

Debating late into the night on August 31, the California state senate ultimately narrowly voted against two separate bans that would have had far-reaching effects on the plastics industry in the state, and ultimately across the U.S. A total of seven votes decided the outcome of the proposed plastic bag ban bill, AB 1998, while a bill that would have outlawed BPA in cups and bottles intended for children fell only two votes shy of passage.

In the wake of the votes, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) both praised California's senate. The ACC claimed the proposed bag ban would have "threatened" 1000 manufacturing jobs, placed a hidden tax on grocery bills, and would lead to the creation a new $4 million "state bureaucracy."

In a statement, Tim Shestek, senior director of State Affairs at the ACC said, "We congratulate Senate members for discarding a costly bill that provides no real solutions to California's litter problem and would have further jeopardized California's already strained economy."

William R. Carteaux, SPI president and CEO also thanked the California state senate for its "wise decision" to reject the bill. "Given the current condition of California's economy, the nation's economy, and the financial challenges facing the plastics industry, this bill was certainly not the answer," Carteaux said, adding that the SPI believe the bill could have resulted in as much as $1 billion in new taxes.

The proposed BPA ban had already passed through the California assembly but after some changes were made to the original language during that process, legislative procedure dictated that the senate would once again have to vote on the measure. California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger never indicated whether he would sign the BPA measure into law, but he had indicated his support for the bag ban. [email protected]

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