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Calif. Assembly Passes Bill Moving State Closer To Uniform Plastic Bag Ban

The Yes on SB 270 Coalition hailed the California Assembly’s historic approval Thursday of Senate Bill 270, moving California one step closer to a landmark law banning single-use plastic carryout bags statewide. SB 270 is supported by dozens of groups representing a spectrum of sectors, including environment, organized labor, business organizations, grocers, retailers, poverty rights organizations, Latino leaders, waste management firms, local governments and others.

“Today California is one step closer to making history by becoming the first state in the nation to ban single-use plastic carryout bags statewide. If this bill becomes law, California will continue its storied legacy as a global leader in bold, game-changing policies to help create a better planet for future generations,” Ronald Fong, president and CEO of the California Grocers Association, said Thursday.

More than 100 cities and counties in California, including its largest metropolitan areas, have deliberated, studied, scrutinized and, ultimately, approved bans on single-use carryout plastic bags. Thousands of other jurisdictions worldwide have done the same. SB 270 will bring uniformity to California, while further reducing the use of plastic bags that litter streets, clog waterways, endanger animals and natural resources and cost taxpayers.

“Nearly one-third of Californians already live in communities that have banned these bags. It is time for our state to step up and usher in a new era of reusable bags as the norm rather than the exception,” said Marce Gutiérrez and Héctor Huezo, co-chairs of the Latino Coalition for a California Bag Ban. “SB 270 will foster innovation, create homegrown jobs, safeguard businesses and protect California’s treasured natural resources. We are grateful to Sens. Padilla, de Leon and Lara for listening to the concerns of Californians and for bravely standing up for economic justice and environmental common sense.”

Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste, added, “SB 270 is a tried-and-true policy (that) brings a broad base of support. By eliminating single-use plastic carryout grocery bags, consumer behavior shifts as shoppers make a habit of using reusable bags.”

Should consumers forget their reusable bags or need an extra bag at checkout, recycled paper bags are available for a 10-cent charge. Amendments to SB 270 ensure that those on food assistance programs are not subject to the 10-cent charge and to ensure that monies generated from the 10-cent charge stay local to be used for cost recovery and consumer education on reusable bag use.

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