This November, Californians will have 17 ballot measures to vote on with topics ranging from marijuana legalization to gun control. But one measure is particularly unique: Proposition 67, the California Plastic Bag Ban Veto Referendum. What makes this measure unique is that lawmakers already approved this piece of legislation in 2014 as SB 270, making California the first state to pass a plastic bag ban.
The statewide plastic bag ban was put on hold, however, when the American Progressive Bag Alliance collected enough signatures—over half a million—to qualify a referendum of SB 270, forcing the public to vote again on the previously-approved measure—this time under the name Proposition 67, the California Plastic Bag Ban Veto Referendum.
The plastic bag industry didn’t stop there—they added another proposition to the ballot, Proposition 65, sneakily dubbed “Dedication of Revenue from Disposable Bag Sales to Wildlife Conservation Fund.” While this sounds great on first glance, it was intended to confuse voters and would actually supersede Proposition 67, directing funds made from a ten-cent paper bag fee to the state’s Wildlife Conservation Board. The ten-cent fee to customers barely covers the cost of paper bags to supermarkets.
To add to the madness, Proposition 65 will be listed before Proposition 67 on the ballot, which has the potential to mislead voters before they vote on the bag ban and is intended to fool voters into thinking that Proposition 67 is a money grab by the grocery industry. And the American Progressive Bag Alliance PAC has spent over five million dollars on this massive confusion campaign as of September 7, 2016, according to the California Secretary of State.
A majority of “Yes” votes on Proposition 67 is needed to uphold SB 270 and prohibit the use of plastic bags in grocery stores, pharmacies, and liquor stores and mandate a ten-cent charge for paper bags.
Plastic carryout bags can be found littered throughout Humboldt County, breaking down into plastic particles and contaminating our landscapes, waterways, and bay with plastic, negatively impacting local wildlife. Additionally, they are not easily collected, sorted, and recycled, so bags become a nuisance to local material haulers and processors.
Arcata and over 100 other towns in California have enacted local plastic bag bans, so this statewide ban would create uniformity and prevent the need for individual jurisdictions who want a plastic bag ban to go through the process of creating ordinances locally. This measure would save time and prevent pollution throughout California and serve as a model for other states to follow.
Don’t let the plastic bag industry deceive voters and continue to produce pollutants that end up all over Humboldt County!
Vote Yes on 67 and No on 65 to ban plastic carryout bags in California once and for all!