The Legislature didn't take action, but the issue isn't going away.
Malibu is one of a handful of California cities that already has bans on plastic shopping bags.
Manhattan Beach has approved a ban, but it's held up by litigation.
L.A. County officials are considering steps to get the bags off the streets.
The bill that failed in the California Legislature Tuesday night would have been the first statewide ban on plastic shopping bags.
The bags litter the streets of Los Angeles and other cities, often ending up in rivers and waterways and eventually getting washed into the ocean.
"I think the Legislature made a big mistake and I think the plastic bag industry made a big mistake," said L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. "They could have one uniform law in California banning bags. Every city, every county would have played by the same rules. Now you're going to have cities and counties setting up their own rules."
Redondo Beach is one of the cities that is considering its own ban on plastic bags. Many shoppers are disappointed that lawmakers didn't prohibit use of the plastic bags.
"Well I don't use plastic bags, I use the reusable ones. So I don't use plastic bags," said one shopper. "'Cause you know, people just usually throw them out and sometimes they hit you in your car. I just don't like to see them around."
But others say they put the bags to good use.
"I'm glad they didn't ban it because we actually use them again for different purposes in the house," said Redondo Beach resident Julie Pronovost. "So I like having them."
"I think that communities can do their own," said Redondo Beach resident Susie Fox. "I just think we have too much government as it is and I don't like people telling me what I can and cannot do."
Yaroslavsky said a measure to ban the plastic bags in Los Angeles County will be brought before the County Board of Supervisors some time after Labor Day.