SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Grocers Association here sent a letter last week to the mayor of Santa Monica, asking the city council there to delay action on a proposed ordinance that would ban all single-use plastic carryout bags and require retailers to charge a fee for paper bags. The council had been scheduled to consider the ordinance last week but tabled the discussion to deal with other matters. In the letter Jennifer Forkish, director of local government relations, said, "CGA believes bans on plastic bags or mandates for certain retailers do not solve the larger issues. While product bans are often viewed as the solution to reducing litter and waste, bans do nothing to educate consumers on the need for a change in behavior." She said retailers and consumers are currently working together to comply with a statewide plastic bag recycling law passed by the California Assembly last July that requires retailers to implement at-store recycling programs and also to submit data to the state detailing customers' recycling efforts. "[That] program is a partnership between neighborhood retailers and their customers. ... Should a per-bag fee be implemented, such action would severely diminish industry's current efforts to promote the return and recycling of plastic bags."
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