Category Archives: Repealing Bag Bans

California: NO on 67; YES on 65!

Joshua Tree National Park, Tuxyso / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Joshua Tree National Park, Tuxyso / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Proposition 67 is a Referendum on the California Statewide Ban (Senate Bill 270) on single-use plastic bags. A “YES” vote would uphold the law and a “NO” vote would overturn it.

Fight The Plastic Bag Ban recommends a NO vote on this proposition.

Proposition 65 is an initiative statute that would redirects money collected by grocery and other retail stores through sale of carry-out bags and require those funds to be deposited into a special fund administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board to support specific environmental projects. If voters pass Proposition 67 to uphold the state’s current carryout bag law, Proposition 65 would require that bag fees collected from shoppers be redirected to the state and used for grants for certain environmental and natural resources purposes.

Fight The Plastic Bag Ban recommends a YES vote on this proposition.

For more information, visit the official website for Proposition 65 and 67 by clicking the following link: http://www.sayyeson65.com/about.

NOTE: Fight The Plastic Bag Ban is not associated with any plastic bag manufacturer or any other commercial interest.

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On The California Ballot in November 2016

Proposition 67, California Plastic Bag Ban Referendum

Seal of California - Public Domain
Seal of California – Public Domain

Proposition 67 is a Referendum to overturn the California Statewide Ban on single-use plastic bags.  A “YES” vote would uphold the law and a “NO” vote would overturn it.

Fight The Plastic Bag Ban recommends a NO vote on this proposition.

In 2014, the California State Legislature passed a ban on single-use plastic bags which was signed into law by Governor Brown.  Subsequently, the new law was challenged through the referendum process by the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA).  The APBA collected signatures on petitions and a sufficient number of signatures were collected to put the law (SB-270) on the ballot for voter approval/disapproval.

If the law is upheld, the use of single-use plastic carryout bags would be prohibited and most but not all customers would be forced to pay 10-cents for each paper or plastic reusable bag distributed at the point of sale.

If the law is upheld, the law would create two classes of shoppers.  One class of shoppers would have to pay the 10-cents bag fee for each store-provided paper or plastic reusable bag; the other class of shoppers would be exempt and receive store-provided bags at no cost.  Customers who pay 10-cents each for store provided bags would subsidize the cost of providing bags to customer who are exempt from the bag fee.  The customers who are exempt from the bag fee are those customers who participate in public assistance programs, such as food stamps.

Whatever happened to treating all customers equally?

The 10-cent bag fee is not subject to sales tax and the entire amount collected is kept by store providing a huge windfall to grocers.  It should be noted that the law died in the California State Assembly, until the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and Safeway struck a deal regarding the 10-cent bag fee.

It should be noted, that voting NO on this proposition will not repeal local bag bans.  However, if voters reject the statewide bag ban, it will provide impetus to opponents of local bag bans and greatly assist in repealing them.

For more information about Proposition 67 see the following article: California Plastic Bag Ban Referendum, Proposition 67 (2016).

In addition, check out the following articles:

Plastic Bag Bans – Designed to Generate and Protect Bag Revenue from Competition!

Referendum to Overturn Ban on Plastic Grocery Bags Qualifies for 2016 Ballot

Dallas, TX City Council Repeals Bag Fee – Rejects Bag Ban

Arizona Governor Signs Bill to Prohibit Plastic Bag Bans

Proposition 65, Carry-Out Bags. Charges. Initiative Statute

Proposition 65 is an initiative statute that would redirects money collected by grocery and other retail stores through sale of carry-out bags and require those funds to be deposited into a special fund administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board to support specific environmental projects.  If voters pass Proposition 67 to uphold the state’s current carryout bag law, Proposition 65 would require that bag fees collected from shoppers be redirected to the state.  Revenues are expected to exceed tens of millions of dollars annually.  Revenues would be used for grants for certain environmental and natural resources purposes.  If voters reject the state’s current carryout bag law, there would likely be minor fiscal effects.

Fight The Plastic Bag Ban recommends a YES vote on this proposition.

For more information about Proposition 65 see the following article: California Carry-Out Bag Revenue Initiative, Proposition 65 (2016)

A plastic bag ban does not produce any significant environmental benefits in proportion to the cost and effort expended by shoppers.  In the article “Bag Bans – A Waste of Time and Money!” the author argues and demonstrates that bag bans are large on cost with negligible environmental benefits.  Proposition 65 if passed would deny a financial windfall to grocers and instead put that money towards real projects that benefit the environment.

In addition, check out the following articles:

Plastic Bag Bans – Designed to Generate and Protect Bag Revenue from Competition!

Plastic Bag Manufacturers File New Initiative

 

Milpitas bag ban mistake – No legal ground to impose 10-cent bag fee!

How ironic that the sculpture in front of City Hall is of the Milpitas Minuteman, supposedly representing freedom of the people from a tyrannical government. Photo By David Alan Clark (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
How ironic that the sculpture in front of City Hall is of the Milpitas Minuteman, supposedly representing freedom of the people from a tyrannical government. Photo By David Alan Clark (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Last September, the Milpitas City Council reversed a previous council decision and quietly passed a bag ban that affected every business and citizen of Milpitas beginning on January 1, 2016.

However, in their hurry to pass a plastic bag ban, they made a critical error in the language of the ordinance that imposes a “minimum fee” for paper or reusable bags distributed to customers at the point of sale. Section II-5-4.00-part B of Ordinance 287 clearly identifies a limited time frame for any minimum fee as follows:

“B. On or before January 1, 2016, a retail establishment may only make recycled paper bags or reusable bags available to customers if the retailer charges a minimum of ten cents.” [Milpitas Ordinance 287]

Thus, according to the legally passed ordinance, on or after January 2, 2016 there is no such minimum fee requirement for paper and reusable bags distributed by Milpitas retailers at the point of sale.

However, this error has additional benefits to businesses. Part C of that same section indicates that only bags that are available for sale are required to be separately itemized on the sale receipt. This would, therefore, not apply to bags that are provided for free on or after January 2, 2016. And Section III-5-5.00 requires every retail establishment to track the daily number of bags sold for a minimum of 3 years. Again, this would not apply to bags that are provided for free on or after January 2, 2016. Continue reading Milpitas bag ban mistake – No legal ground to impose 10-cent bag fee!

Santa Barbara County Passes Bag Ban

Santa Barbara-County Courthouse by Eugene Zelenko (own work) , from Wikimedia Commons
Santa Barbara-County Courthouse by Eugene Zelenko (own work) , from Wikimedia Commons

On Tuesday, August 25 the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors passed an Ordinance on a 3-2 vote to ban Single-Use Plastic Bags at Markets and pharmacies in the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County.

Supervisors Salud Carbajal, Janet Wolf, and Doreen Farr voted for the bag ban and Supervisors Peter Adam and Steve Lavagnino voted against the bag ban.

Opponents of the California statewide plastic bag ban successfully challenged the state law by collecting enough signatures from registered voters to put the measure on the 2016 ballot through the referendum process, a safeguard provided in California’s Constitution. The statewide referendum will finally give ordinary citizens the opportunity to vote on this unpopular measure.

Supervisors Lavagnino and Adam stated that they were not comfortable with the idea of getting out in front of the statewide referendum. (McNulty, 2015) Continue reading Santa Barbara County Passes Bag Ban

Why California City Councils Must Not Pass Bag Bans with a Statewide Vote Pending

Redwood_National_Park,_fog_in_the_forest
California Redwood National Park – By Michael Schweppe
The implementation of plastic bag bans (and paper bag fees) in California has been promoted and pushed by well-organized and well-funded special interest groups working through local politicians, ultimately enacting over 100 local ordinances and subjecting about 33% of the state’s population to bag bans. (White, 2014)

Eventually, after years of failed attempts to pass a statewide bag ban, these organizations were able to leverage local bag bans along with some arm twisting until the California legislature succumbed and passed a statewide bag ban. (Williams & van Leeuwen, 2015) However, when the statewide bag ban was signed into law by Governor Brown, the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) successfully challenged the law through a referendum by collecting 809,810 signatures of registered California voters (with 598,684 valid signatures and 93,924 over and above the quantity needed). This means the statewide law will be on hold until it can be approved or rejected by the people of California in the November, 2016 statewide election. (Fight The Plastic Bag Ban, 2015) Continue reading Why California City Councils Must Not Pass Bag Bans with a Statewide Vote Pending