APBA seeks to overturn plastic bag ban legislation in California

American Progressive Bag Alliance obtains more than 800,000 signatures to repeal SB 270.

February 25, 2015

The American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) has announced that enough signatures have been submitted by Californians to put a referendum to repeal Senate Bill 270, a statewide plastic bag ban, on California’s 2016 ballot.

With the signatures in place, SB 270 will be suspended until California voters cast their ballots on the issue in November 2016.

The APBA reports that more than 800,000 signatures were submitted to the California Secretary of State by the Dec. 29, 2014, deadline, which will allow for the referendum to be put on the ballot. To qualify for a referendum, a total of slightly more than 500,000 signatures were needed.

Nearly two dozen other groups also have joined the move to repeal the legislation.

SB 270, passed in 2014, banned plastic retail bags and allowed grocers to charge 10 cents for each paper and thicker plastic bag provided to their customers.

“SB 270 was never a bill about the environment. It was a backroom deal between the California Grocers Association and their union friends to scam consumers out of billions of dollars in bag fees—all under the guise of environmentalism,” says Lee Califf, executive director of the APBA. “California voters will now have the chance to vote down a terrible law that, if implemented, would kill 2,000 local manufacturing jobs and funnel obscene profits to big grocers without any money going to a public purpose or environmental initiative."

“SB 270 is a de facto multimillion dollar tax on California’s small businesses and shoppers. Voters should be thrilled to have the opportunity to reverse it,” says John Kabateck, California executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), says, “State lawmakers continue to saddle Californians with more taxes, fees and wasteful red tape. We are certain that, now given the opportunity, California voters will trash the foolish bag tax.”

Califf says, “Today is an important day for tens of thousands of families across the country that are supported by the American plastic bag manufacturing and recycling industry. It’s outrageous that California legislators voted to kill California jobs just to line the pockets of big grocers and their labor union supporters. But the APBA is proud to defend these workers and we remain confident California voters will reject the bag ban scam at the ballot box in November 2016.”