On 8 November 2016, people of California has voted to the referendum on Senate Bill SB270 favouring ban on single-use plastic carryout bags statewide. SB2701was passed in both the house and signed by the Governor on 30 September 2014 to make it a law.
According to the State Constitution2, a new state law can be placed before voters as a referendum to determine whether the law can go into effect, provided a petition are submitted within 90 days after the enactment date of the statute to the Secretary of State along with minimum number of signatures of voters.
The trade group American Progressive Bag Alliance was able to get required number of signatures to put the bill to a public vote on 8 November 2016 and SB270 was on the ballot as veto referendum3, also known as Proposition 67. According to preliminary results4, as reported by counties, voters narrowly approves the bill SB 270.
This ballot included another initiative, Proposition 65 that could direct, if approved by voters, the revenue from carryout bag sales to the state fund to support various environmental programs. However, from preliminary result, voter did not approve this, which means revenue will remain with stores.
What will happen next? On 16 December 2016, The Secretary of State will certify final result of vote. SB270 will be effective statewide. This bill will not replace existing law on ban on single use carryout bag which is already adopted by cities and counties5 prior to 1 September 2014, depending on whether they meet certain pre-emption requirements.
Highlights of SB270’s requirements: Certain stores that has specified annual sales volume or retail space
shall not provide a single-use carryout bag to a customer at the point of sale.
shall not sell or distribute a reusable grocery bag unless these stores meet specified requirements for reusable grocery bags.
shall not sell or distribute a recycled paper bag unless the stores make that bag available for purchase for not less than 10 cents.
may distribute a compostable bag, which meets specific standard, to the consumer at a cost of not less than 10 cents.