Progress: Nearly Half of California's Population Can't Use Single-Use Plastic Bags

On July 1, Sacramento County became the 149th jurisdiction in California to implement a plastic bag ban. This was the same day that was supposed to be the start date of the statewide plastic bag ban. The ban has been delayed by out-of-state plastic bag manufacturers, and will now be in the hands of California voters in November.


With Sacramento County’s implementation, more than 45 percent of the state’s population is now covered by a plastic bag ban. If, in the November election, voters uphold Senate Bill 270, the state law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014, a statewide ban will go into effect immediately.

The referendum, which is being challenged by out-of-state plastic bag manufacturers, will be the last item on the statewide ballot. A "Yes" vote will uphold the law banning single-use plastic bags.

“Plastic bags kill marine wildlife, clutter our landscapes, destroy recycling equipment, and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions in cleanup costs,” said Jenesse Miller of California League of Conservation Voters. “Californians won’t be fooled by the deceptive campaign the plastic bag corporations are waging in an attempt to protect their profits.”

Four plastic bag corporations are leading an effort to overturn the law, with 99 percent of their nearly $6 million in contributions coming from out of state. South Carolina-based Hilex Poly leads the effort with $2,777,269 in contributions. Formosa Plastics, whose parent company is based in Taiwan, is second with $1,148,442. Two Texas companies, Superbag ($945,719) and Advanced Polybag ($939,333) are also leading contributors.

“More than 12 billion plastic bags are thrown into the trash every year in California,” notes Mark Murray of Californians Against Waste. “We are confident that voters will stand up to the out-of-state plastic bag corporations that are trying to hijack a law widely favored by California citizens, passed by the Legislature, and signed by the Governor.”

Independent polling shows the plastic bag ban is supported by a nearly 2 to 1 margin among the state’s registered voters.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.