By Carol Herrera, Mayor of Diamond Bar.

In the name of protecting the environment, three state senators have proposed legislation (Senate Bill 270) that would place a statewide ban on plastic bag in California and mandate a 10-cent minimum fee on all paper bags all grocery or big box stores.

Over 100 cities throughout California and the nation have developed their own rules to deal with litter.  Given the uniqueness of each community, the cities of Chicago, Austin and Portland each banned plastic bags, but did not impose a tax on paper bags and some of our coastal communities have taken different steps.

Many of our communities in the Central Valley and Imperial County are still facing double-digit unemployment.  In our community of Diamond Bar many residents have yet to recover from the Great Recession.  It might not seem like a lot, but for many people, having the choice between paper and plastic and not having to pay for each bag is a small comfort during these difficult economic times.

While I strongly believe in protecting the environment, I also believe that this should be a local issue and each city should be allowed to carefully consider the impacts to our local residents and to develop its own rules.