A San Diego City Council committee recommended moving forward with a ban on plastic bags at grocery stores and pharmacies by a 2-1 vote this morning.

The committee said the bag ban should be evaluated by the City Attorney’s Office to determine whether such a step would expose the city to lawsuits. The proposal is set to go to the full City Council for consideration within 90 days.

Council President Scott Peters and Councilwoman Donna Frye supported the ban, saying it was an important step in reducing plastic pollution and litter in the environment. “It has momentum, it is moving statewide and it deserves more consideration here at the city,” Peters said.

Councilman Kevin Faulconer opposed the ban, echoing some issues raised by associations representing plastics manufacturers and grocery stores. Faulconer said he harbored concerns about the costs and impacts a ban would have on consumers, who would be forced to choose between buying reusable cloth bags or paying a small charge for each paper bag. Faulconer said emphasizing plastic-bag recycling was a better option.

ROB DAVIS

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