California Grocers Association Backs Reusable Plastic Bag Ban Bill

Trade org helping meet consumer demands for sustainability while respecting need for convenience
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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CGA Daniel Conway Press Conference Main Image
CGA VP of Government Relations Daniel Conway (at podium) spoke at a press conference in support of a proposed bill banning the distribution of plastic film reusable bags for grocery retailers.

At a Feb. 8 press conference at the California State Capitol, the California Grocers Association (CGA) voiced its support of a proposed bill from State Sen. Catherine Blakespear (D-San Diego) and Asm. Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Alameda) that bans the distribution of plastic film reusable bags for grocery retailers.

As consumer demand for sustainability increases, CGA is endorsing the bill as a logical next step for grocery bags in California, following the passage a decade ago of SB 270, which eliminated single-use carryout bags. The proposed legislation would prompt shoppers to bring to stores reusable bags they already own. They would still be able to buy paper bags if they don’t have reusable ones.

[RELATED: 5 Ways Grocers Can Help Save the Planet]

“Beginning with the passage of SB 270 in 2014, California’s grocery industry has played a leading role in driving the state towards a common sense and responsible approach to the use of plastics and packaging by consumers,” said Daniel Conway, VP of government relations at Sacramento-based CGA, during the conference. “We know that even the best policies may need to be updated over time to reflect changes in our society, so today marks the continuation of the work that started with SB 270 and is an important new chapter in our efforts to support the communities grocers serve and our environment.”

Effective Jan. 1, 2026, the bill proposes that grocery stores may not offer a plastic film reusable grocery bag to consumers at the point of sale. To continue incentivizing waste reduction, grocers can provide nonplastic film reusable grocery bags or recycled paper bags to a consumer for 10 cents at the point of sale. Reusable bags must meet certain requirements, such as being made of washable material. Recycled paper bags will be made available at no cost to WIC and SNAP customers.

“Consumers are calling for sustainable practices from California businesses, but still value a convenient shopping experience,” noted CGA President and CEO Ron Fong. “This bill bridges the two to meet consumers where they are while demonstrating care for the environments in which our stores reside.”

CGA’s membership comprises more than 300 retailers operating 6,000-plus brick-and-mortar stores, as well as about 150 grocery supply companies.

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