US’ first statewide plastic bag ban awaits Gov. Brown’s signature

California is a signature away from implementing prohibition to single-use plastic bags, after the Senate passed Senate Bill 270 on a vote of 22-15 last Friday, Aug. 29.

The measure written by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacioma) is now awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature to make it into a law that is the first of its kind in the country.

SB 270 aims to ban grocery stores, drugstores, and convenience stores from distributing single-use plastic bags within California starting July 1, 2015.

Customers may bring their own reusable bags as alternative to single-use plastic bags. California establishments are encouraged to sell paper, durable reusable bags and compostable bags for 10 cents each for customers who fail to bring their own bags.

The bill also seeks to protect and create green jobs by creating standards and incentives for plastic bag manufacturers. Implementation of the bill is said to provide $2 million loans to businesses in aid of the producers of single-use plastic bags to transition their products into the reusable type.

Sponsor of the bill, Californians Against Waste (CAW) said that this is not so new to everyone for there are more than 120 cities or counties in the state, almost 30 percent of California’s population, which have already adopted reusable bags ordinance even before the passage of SB 270 in the Senate.

“The state assembly spent a great deal of time debating the merits of this issue over the last several months, and especially this week,” Mark Murray, executive director of CAW, said. “In the end, it was the reports of overwhelming success of this policy at the local level that overcame political attacks and misinformation from out-of-state plastic bag makers.”

“We feel relatively positive that Governor Brown will sign the plastic bag ban, given his history as a sate and reducing and recycling activist both at the state level and in the city of Oakland,” Murray added.

Senate President Pro Tempore-elect Kevin de Leon, who used to oppose the bill, nodded at the idea that affected producers of single-use plastic bags be given a $2 million loan to transform their business into something more environmental. de Leon said, “In crafting this compromise, it was imperative to me that we achieve the goals of doing away with the single-use plastic bags, help change consumer behavior, and importantly, support and expand California jobs. SB 270 is a win-win for the environment and for California workers.”

Gov. Brown has until Sept. 30, 2014 to sign the bill.

(With reports from, and 

(San Francisco 5-11, 2014 Sec. A pg.1)

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