In this Aug. 12, 2014 file photo, a man carries plastic single-use bags past the State Capitol in Sacramento. The legislation, which California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law last September, would have gone into effect this July. Hailed by environmentalists as a way to cut down on litter, the law was the country’s first statewide ban of its kind.
A groundbreaking California law that bans plastic bags has been postponed, after the plastic bag industry pushed a referendum onto the state ballot to overturn it.
However, plastic manufacturers immediately launched a campaign to reverse the law. They argued that it would kill jobs and hit consumers with unnecessary fees for paper bags. A petition gathered more than 500,000 signatures to qualify the referendum.
“California voters will now have the chance to vote down a terrible law that, if implemented, would kill 2,000 local manufacturing jobs, and funnel obscene profits to big grocers without any money going to a public purpose or environmental initiative,” American Progressive Bag Alliance executive director Lee Califf said in a statement.
Environmental activist groups behind the law said Tuesday that they would continue to rally in favor of the law, and spearhead more local measures in the meantime.
“It’s not surprising that after spending more than $3.2 million, 98% of which is from out of state, the plastic bag industry has bought its way onto the California ballot to protect its profits,” Californians Against Waste executive director Mark Murray said in a statement.
A poll conducted by the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Times last November found that 59% of California voters sampled would support the law if it came to a vote, while just 34% would oppose it. Read more…