AB 68 (Brownley, 2009-10) - Offsetting the Costs of Single-Use Bag Litter

Requires that consumers pay a $0.25 fee for single-use bags distributed at large grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores.

Position and Status
CAW Supports. This bill died with the close of the legislative session. Previously, the bill passed out of Asm NR April 13 with a 6-3 vote.

This bill would offset the environmental costs associated with single-use carryout bags litter, reduce the littering of plastic bags and incentivize the use of reusable bags. Plastic bags are among the most-often littered items in urban areas. Urban litter accounts for the vast majority of dangerous marine debris pollution. In some areas of the Pacific, plastic already outweighs plankton by a factor of 46! The bill would put a fee on all single-use carryout bags which can be avoided by consumers by using reusable bags. A similar approach in Ireland reduced plastic bag usage by over 90%. Consumers are currently paying for the costs of bag litter twice: first in the form of increased grocery costs to pay for the bags and second in taxes to fight litter. The bill would potentially reduce costs to consumers through grocery bills and taxes by decreasing bag usage and providing local governments with money to fight litter.

CAW Staff Contacts.
Mark Murray and Sue Vang (916) 443-5422



Assembly Member Julia Brownley 
State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814 
Fax: 916-319-2141


Heal the Bay (sponsor)
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Ballona Creek Renaissance
Breathe California
California Coastkeeper Alliance
California State Association of Counties
Californians Against Waste
Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education
City of Los Angeles
City of Oakland
Clean Water Action
Defenders of Wildlife
Earth Resource Foundation
Environment California
Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
Friends of the LA River
Global Green USA
Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council
Heal the Ocean
Malibu Surfing Association
Marin Sanitary Service
Natural Resources Defense Council
One Bag At a Time
Orange County Coastkeeper
Planning and Conservation League
Ross Mirkarimi, Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Saatchi & Saatchi S
San Diego Coastkeeper
Santa Barbara Channelkeeper
Santa Monica Baykeeper
Save the Bay
Sierra Club California
Southern California Watershed Alliance
Surfrider Foundation
The River Project
Urban Environmental Policy Institute
Urban Semillas
1 Bag at a Time

American Forest and Paper Association


Current Language, Analyses and Votes.

Additional Resources: