The battle lines were clearly drawn this afternoon on a possible plastic bag ban in Sacramento.
Environmental advocates told a City Council committee that single-use bags are a scourge. Californians Against Waste estimated that city residents use 180 million a year. The advocates applauded the city for taking a leadership role.
But business groups expressed concerns.
An official from the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce said an ordinance would be "untimely and premature" because the local economy is still fragile and because Sacramento would be the first in the region with one. It urged that no action be taken until 2015.
The California Grocers Association said while it's not encouraging an ordinance, it's willing to talk. It wants to make sure all competitors in a market are treated equally, though the council members pushing the issue are discussing exempting smaller stores.
As The Bee's editorial board pointed out today, there are some thorny issues involved in a ban to avoid hurting businesses or consumers.
The council's Law and Legislation Committee will keep wrestling with this issue and try to come up with a proposed ordinance to go before the full council, probably in a couple of months.