Where does SB 270 in California stand?

At the end of December 2014, the industry against plastic bag bans submitted over 800,000 signatures seeking to repeal SB 270 through a referendum. Counties in California are now undertaking the verification process, which is expected to be completed by the end of February.

In the meantime, on January 27, 2015, Supporters of the state’s plastic bag ban (SB 270) refiled their complaint with California Attorney General Kamala Harris over deceptive signature gathering by petition gatherers seeking a repeal of the law. This comes after the Secretary of State’s office said it would not review the complaint because Secretary of State Alex Padilla had a conflict as author of the legislation, SB 270 that is the subject of the referendum.

California vs. Big Plastic, the campaign committee supporting the bag ban, originally filed a complaint with California Secretary of State Debra Bowen in December requesting an investigation of the signature gathering by the law’s opponents, citing numerous examples of deceptive signature gathering.

If the veto referendum campaign fails to get the bill placed on the November 2016 ballot, SB 270 will go into effect for big businesses on July 1, 2015 and for small businesses on July 1, 2016.

The veto referendum, if citizens collect enough signatures to force the matter onto the state’s ballot, the targeted law does not then go into effect when it otherwise would have done so. Rather, the law is held in abeyance pending the outcome of the statewide vote. Now counties and cities that do not currently have a bag ordinance in place are reviewing whether or not to implement one in case SB 270 does go to vote in 2016. However, even if they pass an ordinance now, it would only be temporary and be superseded by SB 270 if that becomes effective in the possible November 2016 vote.

Make sure to keep checking our website for updates on single use bag legislation that is pending or being implemented. Our retail packaging specialists stay on top of the ever changing market conditions. Let us help you navigate bag legislation in the municipalities you sell into and select the best packaging for your stores. We hope that you will contact us by phone at 888-429-5673 or via email at baglaws@swalter.com