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Plastic Bag Ban Opponents Seek Referendum After Brown Signs Bill

Randy Wick / Flickr

Randy Wick / Flickr

(AP) -- Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday imposing the nation's first state government imposed ban on single-use plastic bags.

Plastic bags will be phased out of large grocery stores starting next year and convenience stores and pharmacies in 2016.

The legislation is meant to encourage consumers to bring their own bags and as a way to reduce litter.

The bill preserves more than 100 local plastic bag bans, including in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Grocers support the ban because it sets a statewide standard and allows them to charge consumers a 10 cent fee for using paper bags.

Plastic and paper bag manufacturers opposed to the legislation say it will result in lost manufacturing jobs in California.

Within hours after the bill signing Tuesday, The American Progressive Bag Alliance said the legislation to ban single-use plastic bags is not “about the environment.” 

“It was a back room deal between the grocers and union bosses to scam California consumers out of billions of dollars without providing any public benefit – all under the guise of environmentalism,” said APBA Executive Director Lee Califf.

Califf said the group is mounting an effort to repeal the legislation.

“We have taken the necessary steps to gather signatures and qualify a referendum to repeal SB 270 on the November 2016 ballot,” said Califf.



(Ed Joyce contributed to this report)

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