Californians narrowly validated the statewide plastic bag ban previously passed by the state Legislature, while rejecting a proposition that would have required retailers to remit money charged for single-use carry-out bags to an environmental fund.
Proposition 67 was approved by 52 percent of voters. It continues the statewide ban prohibiting grocery stores and other selected retailers from handing out single-use plastic bags, but allows them to sell recycled paper bags and reusable bags for a minimum of 10 cents.
The state Legislature approved the ban and the governor signed it into law in 2014, but a referendum forced the issue onto the ballot. The law applies to the following retailers:
- Full-line, self-service retail stores with gross annual sales of at least $2 million that sell dry groceries, canned goods, or nonfood items, and some perishable items.
- Pharmacies with at least 10,000 square feet of retail space.
- Convenience stores, foodmarts, or “other entities” with a liquor license and partial grocery line or that sell goods to be consumed off premises.
- Other retailers that voluntarily agree to comply with the plastic bag ban.
Retailers Can Retain Fees Charged for Carry-Out Bags
California voters rejected a separate initiative that would have required retailers to remit fees charged for carry-out bags to an environmental fund. The fees must be used for the costs of providing recycled paper or reusable bags, costs associated with the retailer’s education materials encouraging the use of reusable bags, or other costs associated with complying with the law.