On September 30, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 270 into law, officially making California the first state to ban single-use plastic bags. And now that ban is under attack!
The plastics industry has teamed up to overturn the ban through Calfornia’s referendum process. Proponents of a referendum have 90 days from the day a law is passed to gather 504,760 signatures from registered voters to qualify it for the ballot with the hope that voters will repeal the new law. (Why 504, 760 signatures? California law requires the number of signatures on a petition to be equal to 5% of the votes cast for Governor during the last gubernatorial election and 504, 760 is the current going rate.)
This means the plastics industry has one month left to gather all the signatures they need and they aren’t being very honest. There happened to be a signature gatherer outside my local Trader Joe’s asking people to sign and help overturn the 10 cent fee on paper bags. She had a cardboard sign that said, “Overturn the 10 cent fee on paper bags.” When I asked her about the petition, she stuck to the story about overturning the 10 cent fee on paper bags that was just passed. Then I asked to look at the petition and low and behold, there at the top in bold, black lettering it said very clearly it was a referendum to overturn SB270. I told her I definitely wasn’t signing that! (Of course I was nice about it, she’s only trying to make a living.)
So don’t let the plastics industry fool you into signing something that could potentially lead to repealing the plastic bag ban…you don’t want that on your conscience.