The plastic Bag Ban Veto Referendum upholds the contested existing legislation that would phase out single-use plastic bags. SB 270 was passed in 2014, but has been put on hold pending this referendum.
This referendum would uphold and implement an existing state law which would:
- Prohibit grocery chains from providing plastic single-use carryout bags and ban small grocery stores, convenience stores, and liquor stores from doing so the following year.
- Still allow single-use plastic bags for meat, bread, produced, bulk food and perishable items.
- Mandate stores to charge 10¢ for compostable paper bags.
- Exempt “Food Stamp” consumers from being charged for paper bags.
- Provide $2 million to state plastic bag manufacturers for the purpose of helping them retain jobs and transition to making reusable plastic bags.
This proposition is supported by conservation and good government groups, big grocery chains, and paper bag manufacturers and opposed mainly by the plastic bag industry. As of August 2016, the grocery chains along with some conservation groups have raised nearly $2 million in support of Prop 67, while the plastic bag manufacturers have raised over $5 million in opposition.
Restricting the availability of free single-use plastic at grocery stores will not in itself end the damaging effects of plastic pollution on the environment. But a YES vote for Prop 67 is a step in that direction and sends the message that wasteful consumer capitalism is objectionable.