AB 2449 (Levine, 2005-06) Plastic Bag Litter and Waste Reduction

AB 2449 requires all CA grocery stores to take back and recycle plastic grocery bags. The bill also requires retailers to provide consumers with a bag reuse opportunity. Retailers and manufactures will be required to implement a public education program, and all bags must be labeled 'Please Return to a Participating Store for Recycling.'

AB 2449 was signed by the Governor on September 30, 2006 and its provisions will go into effect July 1, 2007. Read Governor Schwarzenegger's signing message.

Starting July 1, 2007, AB 2449 has established a 6 year pilot program requiring most large grocery stores and other retailers to create an in-store recycling program for the collection and recycling of plastic 'carry out' bags. The program will include:

  • Labeling bags to return to the store for recycling.
  • Placing recycling bins in visible and accessible locations for customers.
  • The provision of reusable bags for customers to potentially purchase and use in lieu of disposable ones.

In addition, plastic bag manufacturers would be required to work with the grocery stores on their programs to help ensure the proper collection, transportation and recycling of the plastic bags.

CAW Staff Contacts:
Mark Murray (916) 443-5422

Alameda County Waste Management Authority
Californians Against Waste
California League of Conservation Voters
Planning & Conservation League
Sea Turtle Restoration Project
City of Adelanto
City of Millbrae
Sierra Club California
Poly-America (maker of recycled plastic trash bags)
Trex (maker of recycled plastic lumber)

Additional Resources: