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Plastic bag manufacturers collect enough signatures to put repeal of bag ban on the ballot

It's off to the ballot box for the plastic bag ban in California as the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) announced that group has collected more than 800,000 signatures from California voters and submitted the final petitions to county registrars prior to the December 29th deadline. APBA Executive Director Lee Califf, said in a statement: "We are confident the Secretary of State's office will verify the required 504,760 signatures to qualify the referendum for the November 2016 ballot."

December 29th was the deadline to collect the signatures for the referendum to repeal Senate Bill 270, which the APBA said, "was never about the environment. It was a back room deal between the grocers and union bosses to scam California consumers out of billions of dollars in bag fees without providing any public benefit. We are pleased to have reached this important milestone in the effort to repeal a terrible piece of job-killing legislation, and look forward to giving California voters a chance to make their voice heard at the ballot box in 2016."

The American Progressive Bag Alliance was founded in 2005 to represent the United States' plastic bag manufacturing and recycling sector, employing 30,800 employees in 349 communities across the nation. APBA promotes the responsible environmental choice at check out - for both retailers and consumers.

The law impacts plastic bags at checkout counters at large grocery stores and supermarkets such as Walmart and Target starting in the summer of 2015, and will take affect at convenience stores and pharmacies in 2016. Bags used for fruits, vegetables or meats, or shopping bags used at other types of retail stores are not impacted by the ban. However, the law also allows the affected stores to charge a fee of at least 10 cents for using paper bags.

While fighting the good fight is admirable, it's doubtful that the environmentalists will ever identify the real problem - people who don't care about the environment enough to put their recyclable plastic bags into a place where they can be recycled because it's far more convenient to throw the bags into whatever environment they happen to be in. So it then becomes the plastic industry's fault for making bags, regardless of the fact that the bags are both reusable and recyclable.

I applaud the APBA for its valiant efforts to gather the needed signatures, but it's doubtful that people in California will develop more love for plastic bags by the time November 2016 rolls around. 

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