“The most important political office is that of the private citizen.” ~Louis Brandeis
By Alden Benton
California retailers provide more than 15 billion single-use paper and plastic carry out bags to their customers each year. Many cities ban these bags or require charging at least 10 cents per bag.
In 2014, the legislature passed a statewide carryout bag law that prohibits most grocery stores, convenience stores, large pharmacies, and liquor stores in the state from providing single-use plastic carryout bags. This provision does not apply in specified circumstances such as bags used for unwrapped produce or prescription medications.
Current law also requires a store to charge customers at least 10 cents for any carryout bag that it provides at checkout. The retailers retain the revenue generated by the 10-cent bag change to defray compliance costs and provide education on the use of reusable bags.
Proposition 67 retains the provisions of the current law and adds additional requirements.
This measure creates new standards for the material and durability of reusable plastic carryout bags and requires the California Department of Resources Recovery and Recycling (CalRecycle) ensure bag manufacturers comply.
Proposition 67 may be affected by another measure on the ballot — Proposition 65.
If both Proposition 65 and 67 pass, the effect depends upon which measure receives more yes votes. If Proposition 65 receives more yes votes then the revenue goes to a new Environmental Protection and Enhancement Fund. If Proposition 67 receives more yes votes then the retailers keep the funds.
If both measures fail, there will be no statewide carryout bag law.
If Proposition 65 passes and Proposition 67 fails, there will be no statewide bag law but funds from any future bag law would go to environmental funds.
If Proposition 65 fails, and Proposition 67 passes, the statewide carry out bag law remains in effect and the stores keep the revenue.
© 2016 A. L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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