Residents in Campbell, California who are opposed to plastic carryout bag bans have filed official paperwork to launch an initiative petition which will allow the citizens of Campbell to vote to block bag bans from coming to their city. Their effort, supported by the Stop the Bag Ban citizen’s group, will be the first such effort launched in California empowering the people to stop a bag ban.
Bag bans typically ban plastic carryout bags and impose a minimum fee on paper bags issued with the goal of coercing shoppers to use reusable bags. Bag bans have been adopted by the governing bodies in over 70 municipalities and counties in California; however, none has ever allowed their citizens to affirm or overturn their decision by popular vote.
The proposed initiative would add language to Campbell’s Municipal Code to prohibit carryout bag bans, taxes, or minimum fees, and would overturn any laws that had been passed prior to the vote.
According to petition co-organizer Larry Grattan, a long time Campbell resident, a bag ban is simply not needed. He stated that arguments for a bag ban are weak and more of an emotional plea that ends up taking away the freedoms and rights of businesses and individuals, exposes the public to increased health risks, and increases the monetary cost of shopping.
“If someone wants to use a reusable bag, then they have that right,” said Larry Grattan, “but it is wrong to force the other 90% of the people who freely choose plastic or paper bags to use reusable bags against their will.”
Signature gathering is expected to begin in early July. The petitioners will have 6 months to gather enough signatures to force the initiative to a vote of the people at the next general election or to force a special election if needed to stop implementation of a bag ban passed by the city council.
To read the press release in its entirety, click on the following link: https://fighttheplasticbagban.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/campbellinitiativepressrelease.pdf