Proposition 67: 2016

Proposition 67

Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags.

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The Measure

Measure Identification

Measure ID: Proposition 67
Measure Name: Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags.
Type of Ballot Measure: Referendum
Election: 2016 General


The Question

Should the law passed by the Legislature banning single-use plastic bags be allowed to go into effect? 

The Situation

In 2014, the California Legislature passed, and the governor signed, Senate Bill (SB 270), a law that prohibited certain retail stores statewide from providing single-use carryout bags to customers. The law, sometimes known as “the plastic bag ban,” also prohibited the stores from selling or distributing a recycled paper bag at the point of sale unless the stores charged at least 10 cents per bag. The law required stores to retain the money collected from bag sales and to use the money only for specified purposes, such as covering the cost of providing carryout bags. SB 270 would have gone into effect on July 1, 2015; however, its implementation was suspended in February 2015 when this referendum qualified for the state ballot.

The Proposal

Proposition 67 is a referendum that asks voters to approve or reject SB 270. A YES vote on Proposition 67 means that SB 270 will go into effect. A NO vote means that SB 270 will not go into effect.

Some 150 California cities and counties (about 40% of the state’s population), have their own single-use carryout bag laws. Those cities and counties are not covered by SB 270, and their laws will remain in place regardless of the vote on Proposition 67.

Another proposition on this ballot, Proposition 65, could affect the implementation of Proposition 67. Proposition 65 would require that the 10-cent fee for carryout bags go to a new environmental fund, instead of being retained by stores.  If both measures pass, the one with the most votes would prevail. Thus, if Proposition 67 receives the most votes, the 10-cent fee would be retained by the stores; if Proposition 65 receives the most votes, the 10-cent fee would go to the environmental fund, but the rest of Proposition 67 would still be implemented. 

Fiscal Effect

Proposition 67 would have a relatively small fiscal effect on state and local governments, including a minor increase in state administrative costs and possible minor local government savings from reduced litter and waste management costs.

A YES Vote Means

Most grocery stores, convenience stores, large pharmacies, and liquor stores would be prohibited from providing single-use plastic carryout bags. Stores generally would be required to charge at least 10 cents for any other carryout bag provided to customers at checkout. Stores would keep the resulting revenue for specified purposes.

A NO Vote Means

Stores could continue to provide single-use plastic carryout bags and other bags free of charge unless a local law restricts the use of such bags.

Supporters Say

  • Yes on Prop 67 is a common-sense solution to reduce plastic litter in our oceans, lakes and streams, and protect wildlife.                              
  • Opposition to this law is funded by out-of-state plastic bag companies, who are trying to defeat this law in order to protect their profits.            

Opponents Say

  • A ban on single-use bags would decrease manufacturing jobs and harm the economy.
  • California consumers will be forced to spend 10 cents for every bag they are given at checkout, while grocers get to keep the resulting millions of dollars in consumers’ payments.

Official Support

California vs Big Plastic

Major Financial Contributions in support of Prop 67 as of September 15, 2016 include: 

  • Safeway ($150,000)
  • California Grocers Association ($110,500)
  • Ralphs ($80,000)

Official Opposition

No on 67

No website or email address provided.

The organizations’s address is: 2350 Kerner Blvd., Suite 250  San Rafael, CA 94901

Major Financial Contributions to oppose Prop 67 as of September 15, 2016 include: 

  • Hilex Poly Co LLC ($1,082,239)
  • Formosa Plastics ($748,442)
  • Superbag ($601,870)

Financial contributions to ballot measures change frequently; for up-to-date campaign contribution information, please check Cal Access.

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