AB1998 California Assembly Bill

Plastic Bag Ban ProposedBILL NUMBER: AB 1998	INTRODUCED
	BILL TEXT

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Brownley

                        FEBRUARY 17, 2010

   An act to amend Section 42257 of, and to add Chapter 5.3
(commencing with Section 42280) to Part 3 of Division 30 of, the
Public Resources Code, relating to solid waste.

	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

   AB 1998, as introduced, Brownley. Recycling: plastic and paper
carryout bags.
   (1) Existing law requires an operator of a store, as defined, to
establish an at-store recycling program that provides to customers
the opportunity to return clean plastic carryout bags to that store.
This requirement is repealed on January 1, 2013.
   A violation of the enforcement provisions of the existing Fee
Collection Procedures Law is a crime.
   This bill would instead make those at-store recycling program
requirements inoperative on July 1, 2011, and would repeal them on
January 1, 2012, and would instead, on and after July 1, 2011,
prohibit a store, as defined, from providing a plastic carryout bag
to a customer. The bill would require a store, on and after July 1,
2011, with regard to providing carryout bags to a customer at the
point of sale, to either make reusable bags available for purchase by
the customer or provide a paper carryout bag that is subject to the
green bag fee that would be imposed by the bill.
   The bill would require a store to charge a green bag fee of not
less than $0.25 for each paper carryout bag distributed at the point
of sale. The bill would establish the Paper Bag Pollution Cleanup
Fund in the State Treasury and would require a store to remit these
fees, less a specified amount, to the State Board of Equalization for
deposit in that fund.
   The moneys in the fund would be required to be expended, upon
appropriation by the Legislature, in a specified order of priority,
by the department for grants to cities and counties for programs
related to paper carryout bags and reusable bag giveaway programs, by
the department, in consultation with specified state agencies, to
develop and implement specified programs related to paper carryout
bags, by the State Board of Equalization to reimburse its costs
associated with collecting the green bag fees, and by the department
for purposes of implementing the bill's provisions. The bill would
expressly prohibit the expenditure of revenues from the fund for
activities unrelated to the prevention or reduction of paper carryout
bag pollution.
   The bill would require the department, on or before January 1,
2015, to submit to the Legislature a report regarding the
effectiveness of the bill's provisions and recommendations to further
encourage the use of reusable bags.
   The bill would require the State Board of Equalization to
administer the collection of the green bag fees pursuant to the Fee
Collection Procedures Law, thereby imposing a state-mandated local
program by creating a new crime.
   (2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse
local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
reimbursement.
   This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the
following:
    (a) The prohibition imposed by this act, pursuant to Section
42281 of the Public Resources Code, is necessary for the
environmental, public health, and societal burdens imposed by the use
of single-use plastic carryout bags.
    (b) Despite global treaties to prevent dumping at sea and
minimize land-based sources of pollution, and increasing efforts
worldwide to protect water quality, the quantity of marine debris in
the world's oceans is increasing.
    (c) Despite recycling and voluntary solutions to control
pollution from plastic bags in California, only 5 percent of plastic
carryout bags are recycled and the rest either take up valuable
landfill space or are discarded in the environment.
    (d) The North Pacific Gyre in the Pacific Ocean is home to
largest garbage dump of plastic trash, now estimated to be the size
of the United States and is increasing rapidly.
    (e) According to the California Coastal Commission, the majority
of marine debris is composed of plastic materials; 60 to 80 percent
overall and 90 percent of floating debris is plastic.
   (f) It is estimated that at least 267 species of wildlife have
been threatened by marine debris through ingestion or entanglement,
including sea turtles, fish, marine mammals, and various species of
sea birds.
    (g) Paper bags made from virgin materials are not sustainable
alternatives to plastic carryout bags because the production of these
types of bags contributes to deforestation, natural resource
depletion, greenhouse gas emissions, and additional waterborne
wastes.
    (h) Paper carryout bags that contain no old-growth fiber are
100-percent recyclable and contain a minimum of 40 percent
postconsumer recycled content have fewer negative impacts than virgin
paper bags.
    (i) Plastics made from bio-based sources that are marketed as
"compostable" or "biodegradable" have not been shown to degrade in
aquatic environments and require conditions only available in
composting facilities to rapidly break down into constituents that
assimilate back into the environment.
   (j) With the exception of the City and County of San Francisco,
the City of Oakland, and a few other communities, these composting
facilities are not typically available to local jurisdictions and
compostable plastic in communities without commercial composting
would be disposed of as waste.
    (k) On September 18, 2006, the West Coast Governor's Agreement on
Ocean Health was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger of California,
Governor Kulongoski of Oregon, and Governor Gregoire of Washington to
address the challenges of the Pacific coast's declining health and
to establish its protection as a regional priority.
    (l) On February 8, 2007, the California Ocean Protection Council
approved a resolution to call for statewide action to reduce the
amount of land-based sources of marine debris and the resulting
implementation strategy was adopted by the Ocean Protection Council
in November 2008, which called for aggressive actions to reduce the
use of single-use plastic products, including plastic bags.
    (m) On World Oceans Day 2009, the Under-Secretary General and
Executive Director of the United Nations Environmental Programme
called for an outright ban or rapid phase-out of thin film plastic
carryout bags worldwide.
    (n) In the United States, and in California, many cities have
already enacted bans, or are seriously considering banning plastic
single-use bags.
   (o) The Legislature finds and declares that proliferation of these
bans should be of statewide interest and concern and that the state
should take action regulating the use of plastic single-use bags.
   (p) The imposition of the fees pursuant to Section 42282 of the
Public Resources Code would not result in the imposition of a tax
within the meaning of Article XIII A of the California Constitution
because the amount and nature of the fee have a fair and reasonable
relationship to the environmental, public health, and societal
burdens imposed by the use of paper carryout bags, and there is a
sufficient nexus between the fees imposed and the use of those fees
to support programs to prevent the litter of paper carryout bags, to
clean up the litter caused by paper carryout bags, and to encourage
the reduction of the use of paper bags.
   (q) (1) There is a clear nexus between the type and amount of the
fees imposed pursuant to this act and the environmental, public
health, and societal costs resulting from paper carryout bags.
   (2) It is the intent of the Legislature that the fees that are
imposed pursuant to Section 42282 of the Public Resources Code be
consistent with Sinclair Paint Co. v. State Bd. of Equalization
(1997) 15 Cal.4th 866.
  SEC. 2.  Section 42257 of the Public Resources Code is amended to
read:
   42257.  This chapter shall remain  in effect only until
January 1, 2013   operative only until July 1, 2011, and
 , and as of  that date   January 1, 2012,
 is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted
before  January 1, 2013   January 1, 2012 
, deletes or extends that date.
  SEC. 3.  Chapter 5.3 (commencing with Section 42280) is added to
Part 3 of Division 30 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
      CHAPTER 5.3.  SINGLE-USE CARRYOUT BAGS

      Article 1.  Definitions

   42280.  For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions
shall apply:
   (a) "Compostable carryout bag" means a carryout bag provided by a
store to a customer at a point of sale that meets either of the
following requirements:
    (1) Is composed of bio-based sources, such as that derived from
corn or other plant sources.
   (2) Meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
Standard Specification for Compostable Plastics as specified in
subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section
42356.
   (b) "Department" means the Department of Resources Recycling and
Recovery.
   (c) "Fund" means the Paper Bag Pollution Cleanup Fund established
pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 42283.
   (d) "Green bag fee" means a fee imposed pursuant to Section 42282
upon customers for receipt of a paper carryout bag at point of sale.
   (e) "Paper carryout bag" means a carryout bag provided by a store
to a customer at point of sale that meets all of the following
requirements:
   (1) Contains no old-growth fiber.
   (2) Is 100-percent recyclable.
   (3) Contains a minimum of 40 percent postconsumer recycled
content.
   (f) "Plastic carryout bag" means a plastic bag designed for single
use, including a compostable carryout bag as defined in subdivision
(a), that is provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale
that is not a reusable bag.
   (g) "Reusable bag" means a bag that is specifically designed and
manufactured for multiple reuse, meaning 50 or more uses.
   (h) "State board" means the State Board of Equalization.
   (i) "Store" means a retail establishment that provides paper or
plastic carryout bags to its customers as a result of the sale of a
product and that meets any of the following requirements:
   (1) Meets the definition of a "supermarket" in Section 14526.5.
   (2) Has over 10,000 square feet of retail space that generates
sales or use tax pursuant to the Bradley-Burns Uniform Local Sales
and Use Tax Law (Part 1.5 (commencing with Section 7200) of Division
2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code) and has a pharmacy licensed
pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 4000) of Division 2 of
the Business and Professions Code.
   (3) Is a chain convenience food store or foodmart primarily
engaged in retailing a limited line of goods that generally includes
milk, bread, soda, and snacks, and has a total cumulative square
footage of 10,000 square feet or more.

      Article 2.  Carryout Bag Regulation

   42281.  (a) On and after July 1, 2011, a store shall not provide a
plastic carryout bag to a customer at the point of sale
   (b) (1) On and after July 1, 2011, with regard to providing
carryout bags to a customer at the point of sale, a store shall make
reusable bags available for purchase by a customer or provide to the
customer a paper carryout bag that is subject to the fee specified in
Section 42282.
   (2) A store shall only provide paper carryout bags that meet the
definition specified in subdivision (e) of Section 42280.
   42282.  (a) A store shall not provide a paper carryout bag to a
customer at the point of sale, unless the store charges the customer
a green bag fee of not less than twenty-five cents ($0.25) per bag.
    (b) The amount charged pursuant to subdivision (a) shall not be
subject to sales tax, shall be separately stated on the receipt
provided to the customer at the time of sale, and shall be identified
as the "Green Bag Fee."
    (c) A store may retain not more than five cents ($0.05) of the
green bag fee for each paper carryout bag and shall remit the
remainder of the green bag fee to the state board pursuant to Section
42284.
   (d) A store charging a green bag fee pursuant to subdivision (a)
may only use the amount of the fee retained pursuant to subdivision
(c) for the following purposes:
    (1) Reimbursement of the store's costs associated with the
collection and remittance of the green bag fee.
   (2) The development of in-store educational materials for
distribution to customers encouraging the use of reusable bags.
   (3) The development and implementation of an educational campaign
targeting low-income communities and non-English-speaking communities
to encourage greater use of reusable bags.
   (4) Reimbursement of the store's costs associated with providing
reusable bags as donations to community organizations, nonprofit
organizations, and other similar entities.
    (5) Reimbursement of the store's costs associated with the
purchase of paper carryout bags.

      Article 3.  Paper Bag Pollution Cleanup Fund

   42283.  (a) The Paper Bag Pollution Cleanup Fund is hereby
established in the State Treasury. All green bag fees collected by
the state board pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited in the
fund.
   (b) The moneys in the fund shall be expended, upon appropriation
by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act, in the manner and in the
order of priority as follows:
   (1) (A) By the department, 80 percent of the moneys in the fund,
for grants to cities and counties, on a per capita basis, for the
following purposes:
   (i) Establishing and maintaining local programs to control
pollution from paper carryout bags, including those programs in
partnership with nonprofit community-based organizations, for
purposes of litter cleanup activities.
   (ii) Source reduction efforts to help implement zero waste
programs, litter prevention programs, and litter prevention education
and outreach programs related to paper carryout bags.
   (iii) Mitigation projects relating to stormwater pollution caused
by paper carryout bags, including devices to prevent paper carryout
bag litter from entering storm drain systems.
   (iv) Reusable bag giveaway programs, including those targeting
low-income residents.
   (B) The amount for which a city or a county is eligible shall be
based on the total population of the incorporated area of the city or
the total unincorporated area of the county, whichever is
applicable.
   (2) By the department, 14 percent of the moneys in the fund, in
consultation with the Ocean Protection Council, the State Water
Resources Control Board, and the Department of Toxic Substances
Control, to develop and implement programs to encourage and support
pollution prevention, abatement, cleanup, enforcement, green
chemistry and product redesign, water quality protection and cleanup,
and public education and outreach related to the use of paper
carryout bags.
   (3) No more than 3 percent of the funds shall be expended by the
state board, to reimburse the state board's costs of administering
Section 42285.
   (4) No more than 3 percent shall be expended by the department for
purposes of administering the requirements of this chapter.
   (c) The revenue from the Paper Bag Pollution Cleanup Fund for the
purposes of this section shall not be expended on activities
unrelated to the prevention or reduction of paper carryout bag
pollution pursuant to Sinclair Paint Co. v. State Bd. of Equalization
(1997) 15 Cal.4th 866.

      Article 4.   Report

   42284.  On or before January 1, 2015, the department shall submit
a report to the Legislature regarding the effectiveness of this
chapter. The report shall also include recommendations to further
encourage the use of reusable bags by consumers and retailers and to
reduce the consumption of single-use carryout bags, including at a
minimum, both of the following:
   (a) Expanding the definition of stores that are subject to this
chapter to all other stores and retail establishments distributing
single-use bags.
   (b) Increasing the green bag fee imposed pursuant to Section
42282, including necessary adjustments for inflation, to increase the
effectiveness of this chapter.

      Article 5.  Administration and Enforcement

   42285.  (a) The state board shall administer and collect the green
bag fee pursuant to the Fee Collection Procedures Law (Part 30
(commencing with Section 55001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and
Taxation Code).
   (b) The state board may adopt rules and regulations to carry out
this article, including, but not limited to, provisions governing
collections, reporting, refunds, and appeals.
   (c) The green bag fee shall be due and payable quarterly on or
before the 25th day of the month following each calendar quarter.
Payments shall be accompanied by a form, as prescribed by the state
board, including, but not limited to, electronic media.
   (d) The state board may require the payment of the green bag fee
for other than quarterly periods.
   42286.  Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, the
department shall administer and enforce this chapter.
  SEC. 4.  No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
Constitution.

11 Responses to "AB1998 California Assembly Bill"

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  5. Ted Duboise   2010/06/12 at 9:14 pm

    Actually Jerry, An EIR is required of any ‘agency’ contemplating a project. The CA Assembly is not an agency. The CA Assembly passes the laws and CEQA creates guidelines for those laws. Learn about CEQA and read the CA Public Resources Code.

  6. Ted Duboise   2010/06/12 at 6:57 pm

    Interesting question indeed. I’ll do some research for an answer. Thanks for asking.

  7. jerry mitchell   2010/06/11 at 3:11 pm

    I cannot locate any reference to an EIR being prepared for California’s AB 1998 plastic bag ban. I believe this legislative action would be considered a “project” under CEQA law and unless the governor has exempted it from environmental review, AB 1998 would have to be in compliance.

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