Washington—The fate of the first statewide single-use plastic bag ban remained confusing through Election Day and on into the night, even as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stunned the political world capturing the White House.
But by 3:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, 6:30 on the East Coast, it seemed California's bag ban would stand. With 87 percent of the votes counted, Proposition 67 had 55 percent of the “yes” vote. The 4.4 million votes in favor of the ban, which was originally passed by the state legislature two years ago before petitions sent it to to the people for a vote, came primarily from coastal counties.
Proposition 65, the related measure that would have directed fees from paper bags collected under Prop. 67 to environmental conservation programs, failed with 55 percent voting against and 44.6 percent in favor. Grocers and retailers will keep the money generated by the fee, per the original law, which was signed by Goc. Jerry Brown (D) after passing as SB 270 in 2014.
According to California state law, the plastic bag ban—and the mandatory minimum charge of 10 cents each for larger, thicker reusable plastic or paper bags—will essentially go into effect immediately.
The plastics industry spent a combined $6.1 million on the campaigns to defeat Prop 67 and drum up support for Prop 65, while proponents of the ban spent an estimated $3.7 million in favor of the ban and working against the attempt to keep the funds out of the hands of retailers.
For more coverage of races of interest to the plastics industry, see Ron Johnson holds his Senate seat in Wisconsin and Candidates with plastics ties retain Congressional seats.