By Andrea Papagianis and Jim Shilander
Both Dana Point and San Clemente made moves toward implementing a single-use plastic bag ban—one attempt in Dana Point succeeded, while two attempts in San Clemente failed. But, with a move from Sacramento last week, the decision has been taken out of local municipalities hands.
On Tuesday, Sept. 30, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the nation’s first statewide legislation banning single-use plastic bags that are used to package goods in grocery stores, restaurants and other retailers—mirroring existing regulations in 120 local governments including Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Solano Beach and San Francisco.
“This bill is a step in the right direction—it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself,” Brown wrote in a signing message. “We’re the first to ban these bags, and we won’t be the last.”
The legislation, SB 270, prohibits grocery stores and pharmacies from distributing single-use plastic bags after July 2015. The ban will be enforced on convenience stores and liquor stores the following year. SB 270 will provide up to $2 million in loans to businesses transitioning to the use of reusable bags.
Following the bill’s signing, an effort was already underway to overturn the plastic-bag ban at the ballot box in 2016.