Statement on Turning in of Signatures by Plastic Bag Industry on SB 270 Referendum (Press Release)

Contact: Mark Murray, 916-443-5422, 916-995-8655

For Immediate Release


SACRAMENTO – Mark Murray of California vs. Big Plastic, the coalition of local officials, environmental, labor, and business groups supporting the state’s plastic bag ban, issued the following statement after the plastic bag industry turned in signatures to the California Secretary of State today seeking to force a referendum on the state’s ban recently signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown:

“After spending more than $3.1 million, 98 percent of which was raised from out of state, it is clear that the plastic bag industry is more interested in their own profits than reducing an unnecessary source of pollution and waste that threaten California’s wildlife and pollutes our ocean, coast, and our communities. Californians overwhelmingly support the law, and the $30 million to $50 million it will cost the plastics industry to launch a full-fledged campaign in 2016 if the measure qualifies will be proven to be an act of political malpractice, particularly since nearly half the state will no longer have plastic bags by election day.

“Single use plastic shopping pose a costly burden on our environment and our economy. After listening to the public, hundreds of local elected officials, the state legislature and the Governor have moved to eliminate plastic bags. Virtually all of the plastic bags sold in California are produced by just three out of state corporations. And these corporations and their chemical suppliers have made it clear that they will do and say anything, and pay any price to continue to sell plastic bags into California.

“This is not the first time that out-of-state polluters have attempted to repeal a California environmental law. In 2010, out-of-state oil companies, along with the Koch Brothers spent more millions on Proposition 23, an initiative that would have suspended AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act. Voters soundly rejected that effort by polluters, and we are confident that, given the opportunity, voters will reject a repeal of the plastic bag ban.”

A recent USC Dornsife/LA Times poll showed solid and broad support for the law with 60% approval. That  poll also shows that support for banning plastic bags is even higher in communities that have already eliminated them.

Murray noted that the plastics industry was soundly defeated in the only previous vote on a plastic bag ban in California. Voters in the city of Fairfax supported its bag ban by more than a 4-1 margin (78.5-21.5%) in 2008.

A link to the contributions by plastic companies to the campaign can be found here.

For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @CAvsBigPlastic.