California Democrats Back Plastic Bag Ban

The California Democratic Party today voted to support California’s statewide plastic bag ban law, which will be the subject of a referendum on the November 2016 ballot.

Delegates at the convention backed the referendum on Senate Bill 270 by acclamation.


“This is a huge boost in our campaign to protect our oceans and wildlife,” notes Mark Murray, chairman of the campaign supporting the law, California vs. Big Plastic. “Plastic bag bans began as a grassroots effort in California. Today’s vote shows strong political and community support from the activists who will make a difference in November against out-of-state plastic companies who are expected to spend millions to defeat it.”

The legislation was authored by Secretary of State Alex Padilla (when he was in the Senate) and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. It was scheduled to go into effect in July 2015. However, out-of-state plastic bag companies immediately forced a referendum on the law, spending more than $4.7 million to date on that effort, resulting in 11 billion more bags entering the state’s waste stream.

The California Democratic Party joins a broad coalition of environmental, labor and business supporters of the law. It includes Environment California, Californians Against Waste, the California Retailers Association, and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).

Voters will need to cast a “Yes” vote to keep the law in place. According to a Los Angeles Times/USC poll, 71 percent of the state’s Democrats support the law. Among all voters, the margin was nearly 2-1.

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