SB 270: Bag Battle Heats Up

In the less than two weeks, the California State Assembly will take up legislation SB 270 (Padilla, de Leon and Lara) to ban single-use plastic grocery bags statewide. The legislation recently passed out of the Assembly Fiscal Committee and now heads to the Assembly Floor for a full vote. The deadline to pass both houses is August 3, 2014. To date, 116 cities and counties with a third of California’s population have adopted a local bag ordinance. The rest of California still does not have ordinances and will be affected by the outcome of SB 270. Many of these cities are trying to get an ordinance adopted before September 1st of this year. Just in case the proposed statewide bill, SB 270, is passed, the cities will have their own regulations and will not be subject to the law.

Summary of SB 270
Phases out single-use plastic grocery bags. Reusable, paper, and (in certain jurisdictions) compostable plastic bags can only be distributed with a minimum 10 cent charge. Includes standards and incentives for plastic bag manufacturers to transition to making reusable bags.

Description of SB 270
This bill seeks to reduce plastic bag litter costs by prohibiting single-use plastic grocery bags in supermarkets and drugstores starting July 1, 2015. By July 1, 2016, smaller grocery stores and convenience stores must also comply with the requirements. Other bags (paper, reusable, and in some jurisdictions, compostable) are allowed only with a ten cent minimum charge. Local ordinances adopted before September 1, 2014, which currently cover a third of the state’s population, would be protected under a grandfathering clause.

Make sure to keep checking our website for updates on single use bag legislation, like SB 270, 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