California's legislature has approved what will be a national first if Gov. Jerry Brown goes along—a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags in supermarkets and other stores, reports the Los Angeles Times. Lawmakers narrowly approved the measure yesterday in the name of reducing litter on streets and beaches. It would apply to supermarkets next July and to convenience and liquor stories the following year. Customers would be able to pay a dime or so for a reusable plastic bag or a paper bag.
Brown hasn't taken a position on the ban, which is generally opposed by Republicans as a big-government move that would amount to a tax on shoppers, reports the Wall Street Journal. And while Brown has a long history of supporting green initiatives, this one is no slam dunk given that it's an election year, reports the Sacramento Bee. Some of California's biggest localities, including Los Angeles County and San Francisco, already have such bans in place.