As expected, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a measure banning single-use plastic bags from grocery stores.
Under the new law signed Tuesday, grocery stores and pharmacies will have until July 2015 to stop providing customers with single-use plastic bags, while convenience and liquor stores will have until 2016 to phase them out. As we mentioned in a previous post, the law also provides money to local plastic bag companies to retool their operations to make bags that would meet the new state-wide requirements. Such bags could include reusable plastic grocery bags.
For the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA), however, this law isn’t the final word on plastic bags. As one of the major groups to fight the California bag ban, the APBA plans to put the issue on the ballot in November. According to an article from Plastics News, APBA Executive Director Lee Califf released the following statement on Tuesday:
California’s constitution provides voters the opportunity to stop bad laws through the referendum process. Our research confirms that the vast majority of California voters are opposed to legislation that bans recyclable plastic bags and allows grocers to charge and keep fees on other bags. So we have taken the necessary steps to gather signatures and qualify a referendum to repeal SB 270 on the November 2016 ballot. Since state lawmakers failed their constituents by approving this terrible bill, we will take the question directly to the public and have great faith they will repeal it at the ballot box. Ultimately the voters will decide and, until then, California families – including thousands of our industry’s workers – will be protected from the implementation of this unprecedented scam.
It seems that this issue is far from settled, at least for the APBA, but stopping the law at this point will likely be an uphill battle. We’ll be sure to update you again on any developments in the coming months.