Opponents of California’s plastic bag ban finally have some reason to celebrate. They were able to gather enough signatures by the December 29th, 2014 deadline to put the ban to a referendum in November 2016. This means that the ban is essentially on hold until then.
According to The Plastics Industry Trade Association, the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) collected more than 800,000 signatures, and the county registrars office verified that at least 555,236 were valid (504,706 signatures were needed).
The Plastics Industry Trade Association also reported on a statement released by APBA Executive Director Lee Califf after the referendum qualified for a vote. Said Califf:
SB 270 was never a bill about the environment. It was a backroom deal between the California Grocers Association and their union friends to scam consumers out of billions of dollars in bag fees – all under the guise of environmentalism. California voters will now have the chance to vote down a terrible law that, if implemented, would kill 2,000 local manufacturing jobs and funnel obscene profits to big grocers without any money going to a public purpose or environmental initiative.
However, an article on cnn.com noted that “supporters of the ban have asked California’s attorney general to investigate how the signatures were obtained. They allege that signature gatherers misled voters by characterizing the ban as a tax or suggesting that signing the petition would advance the ban, not repeal it.”
With the referendum being over a year away, one might be tempted to think there won’t be any news to report for a while. But, as you can see by just how passionate each side is about their point of view, I have a feeling we’ll be hearing some news sooner rather than later.