Whether or not the plastics industry is successful in delaying the California bag ban until late 2016 under a current referendum attack, it appears that the capital city will still be plastic bag free in the near future.
According to media reports, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will move forward with the city's original plans to ban plastic bags in grocery, drug, and convenience stores if the referendum qualifies. In 2013, council members Kevin McCarty and Steve Cohn introduced an effort for a similar policy, which was halted when SB 270, the state measure, gained momentum and later passed in the summer of 2014.
"In addition to harming wildlife and causing urban blight, single-use plastic bags cost Sacramento hundreds of thousands of dollars each year," said Johnson. "They cause problems by clogging up our recycling equipment, forcing it to be shut down on a regular basis. And we're forced to use parks and other city personnel to clean up plastic bag pollution all over the city every day. These single-use plastic bags didn't exist 40 years ago, and we want to make sure they don't exist in Sacramento in the near future."
"This is a bold move by Mayor Johnson that sends the right message that we need to reduce plastic pollution and stand up to out-of-state special interests attempting to overturn our statewide law," said Mark Murray. "It is powerful that Sacramento will lead the next wave of bag bans in the state if the referendum qualifies."
Currently, the opposition has reported nearly $3 million in funds towards the referendum effort. They have until the end of this month to get just under 505,000 signatures from registered voters to qualify.