The California referendum for the statewide repeal of plastic bag use in stores will be placed on the November 2016 ballot. Opponents of the first statewide plastic bag ban state the referendum will likely result in a $100 million dollar loss for bag manufacturers.
The American Progressive Bag Alliance, a lobbying group funded by plastic bag manufacturers, forwarded over 800,000 signatures to the office of California Secretary of State Debra Bowen (D). This is far above the 504,760 signatures needed to place the plastic bag ban referendum on the 2016 ballot. The referendum means the state’s plastic bag ban, passed just last year and scheduled to go into effect on July 1, will be delayed until voters decide on the repeal.
This law would force consumers to carry reusable bags at the grocery store or purchase paper grocery bags for 10 cents each. Plastic bag manufactures claim the deal was a result of a backroom deal between labor unions and grocery store owners. Lee Califf, head of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, explained the plastic bag ban bill, SB 270, was never about the environment. He said an important point has been reached which will allow the public to have a chance to repeal job-killing legislation.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by Day Donaldson – Flickr License