Small Grocers Lead Opposition to 'Bag Ban Bill'
Community-based independent grocers and other local California retailers are leading the opposition to AB 1998, the so-called "bag ban bill, according to Sacramento-based American Chemistry Council (ACC), a trade group whose members apply the science of chemistry to make products and services to enhance consumers’ lives.
These retailers have joined forces with manufacturing associations, chambers of commerce, and plastic bag makers statewide in opposition of the bill. Approximately 500 companies currently oppose the bill.
In its current iteration, AB 1998 would prohibit large grocers, drug stores, food marts, and convenience stores from providing their customers free plastic bags and require a minimum five-cent fee on paper bags. The Senate Appropriations Committee determined that AB 1998 would require $2 million in new state costs to administer and enforce. However, ACC said the fees collected from paper bags would be pocketed by grocers and would not fund the infrastructure required by the bill. Because of this, passage of AB 1998 would result in the elimination of hundreds of California-based plastic bag manufacturing jobs and would dismantle a young but growing plastic bag recycling infrastructure.
AB 1998 is pending consideration by the Senate Rules Committee after it was moved from the Senate Appropriations Committee late last week without a vote. Because AB 1998 did not meet the August 13th committee reporting deadline, it would require a 2/3 majority to pass to the Senate floor for final consideration before the legislature adjourns August 31.
The list of those opposing AB 1998 includes:
• Fiesta Foods
• Food Fair Market
• Market Produce
• Sierra Produce
• Whittier Farms
• Garden Ranch Market
• Black Business Association
• California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce
• California Manufacturers & Technology Association
• California Film Extruders & Converters Association
• Californians for Extended Producer Responsibility
• Silicon Valley Black Chamber of Commerce
• Long Beach Black Chamber of Commerce
• Moreno Valley Black Chamber of Commerce
• Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce
• Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, (Long Beach)
• Downey Chamber of Commerce
• San Diego Urban Economic Corporation
• Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Alameda County
• Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau
• Hispanic Chambers of Commerce Silicon Valley
• Carson Black Chamber of Commerce
• Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Fresno
• Los Angeles Metro Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
• South Bay Latino Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles
• Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, Long Beach
• Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Orange County
• Inland Empire Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
• California Coalition of Filipino American Chambers of Commerce, Los Angeles
• American Chemistry Council
For a full list of the nearly 500 small businesses and organizations opposed to AB 1998 and more information about the fight against AB 1998, visit www.stopthebagpolice.com.