News release: Plastic bag ban supporters respond to certification of signatures by plastic bag industry on SB 270 referendum


Contact: Jenesse Miller, 510-844-0235
For Immediate Release

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. – Today Californians vs. Big Plastic, the coalition of local officials and environmental, labor, and business groups supporting the state’s plastic bag ban, responded with several member statements after California Secretary of State Alex Padilla certified signatures gathered by the plastic bag industry that will force a referendum in November 2016 on the state’s plastic ban signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown (SB 270):

“It’s not surprising that after spending more than $3.2 million, 98 percent of which is from out of state, the plastic bag industry has bought its way onto the California ballot to protect its profits,” said Mark Murray of Californians vs. Big Plastic. “Every poll shows that Californians strongly support the law, and the $30 million to $50 million it will cost the plastics industry to launch a full-fledged campaign in 2016 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. We are confident that Californians will protect a law that is already in place in 138 communities that will save marine wildlife, reduce litter, and save taxpayers millions of dollars.”

"Out-of-state plastic bag companies may have millions of dollars to buy their way onto the ballot, but they're just delaying California's inevitable transition away from wasteful plastic bags,” said Sarah Rose of the California League of Conservation Voters. “Time and time again Californians have shown big polluters that citizen voices are more powerful than those special interests, and we'll do it again. Two words for plastic bag manufacturers: Game on."

"It's a shame that deceptive tactics in collecting signatures allowed this referendum to qualify," said Kathryn Phillips, Director of Sierra Club California. "Fortunately, Californians are smart voters. Once they understand the real intent of this measure, they'll vote with the environment. They'll vote 'yes' to retain the reasonable statewide bag ban."

"Out-of-state polluters are going to keep on dumping millions of pounds of plastic into our ocean,” said Dan Jacobson of Environment California. “Nothing we use for five minutes should pollute our environment for hundreds of years."

“This is nothing more than a greedy attempt by out of state plastic bag makers to mislead California’s voters for their own gain,” said Linda Escalante, Policy Advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Single use plastic bags litter our neighborhoods and harm our rivers, lakes, coast, ocean and wildlife and there is broad support for the new law to phase them out for good.”

"Surfrider Foundation has been working tirelessly over the past seven years in communities and at the statewide level to address the issue of plastic pollution,” states Surfrider Legal Director Angela Howe. "It’s disturbing to think that the plastics companies can swoop in and undo a major statewide victory for our coasts, but rest assured that Surfrider and our coalition partners will continue to fight for this ground-breaking environmental law to come to fruition in California.”

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.

# # #


Take Action »

Be an environmental champion: take action to protect our air, water, and health.

Know Your Legislators »

Who represents you in the Assembly & State Senate? Find out how they voted on key environmental proposals.

Stay Connected »

Keep up with the latest from CLCV: environmental news, urgent action alerts, and more.

Donate »

Your support for CLCV helps maintain California's standing as the nation's environmental leader.

2018 California Environmental Scorecard

New for the 2018 legislative session: The 45th annual California Environmental Scorecard rates elected officials on 2018, another successful year for the environment in spite of heavy opposition from polluting industry.

Find out how your legislators did in 2018 in CLCV's California Environmental Scorecard.