City Beat

With state law in limbo, Sacramento will renew push to ban plastic bags

With a state ban on single-use plastic bags now on hold, “there will be a renewed push to make sure Sacramento moves forward” with its own legislation, a spokesman for Mayor Kevin Johnson said Tuesday.

State elections officials announced Tuesday that opponents of a statewide ban had qualified a referendum for the 2016 ballot. The state law can’t take effect with the pending election.

Political consultant Steve Maviglio said a local coalition pushing for a ban is “not going to let out-of-state plastic bag corporations get away with their attempt to hijack California’s political process while plastic bags kill marine wildlife and litter our streets.” The campaign to overturn the ban is led by members of the plastic bag manufacturing industry.

The timing of when Johnson will make a formal proposal is not known. The mayor said in December he would propose a law identical to the pending state legislation if that law was delayed by a referendum. The city’s ban would likely prohibit plastic bags at checkout counters, but allow plastic bags for produce. Shoppers could bring re-usable bags or purchase paper bags at stores for 10 cents each.

The city’s Law and Legislation Committee asked city staff in 2013 to draft an ordinance banning the bags, but the city later backed off and deferred to the state. Gov. Jerry Brown approved the law last year.

Call The Bee’s Ryan Lillis, (916) 321-1085. Read his City Beat blog at

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