California Grocers Association Endorses Reusable Plastic Bag Ban Bill

CGA Helps Drive the State Towards a Common Sense and Sustainable Approach to Bags

Sacramento, CA (February 8, 2024) — Today during a press conference at the California State Capitol, the California Grocers Association announced its support of Sen. Catherine Blakespear’s (D-San Diego) and Asm. Rebecca Bauer-Kahan’s (D-Alameda) proposed bill banning the distribution of plastic film reusable bags for grocery retailers.

As consumer demand for sustainability evolves, CGA is helping guide this shift as a natural next step for grocery bags in California following the passage of SB 270 ten years ago, which eliminated single-use carryout bags. Without compromising convenience, this bill encourages a thoughtful approach to bags by prompting shoppers to bring reusable bags they already own from home. Consumers will still be able to purchase paper bags if they do not have a reusable bag.

“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 California Grocers Association VP of Government Relations, Daniel Conway. “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 January 1, 2026, the bill proposes that grocery stores may not provide a plastic film reusable grocery bag to consumers at the point of sale. To continue incentivizing waste reduction, grocers can offer non-plastic film reusable grocery bags or recycled paper bags to a consumer for no less than 10 cents at the point of sale. Reusable bags must meet certain requirements, like being made of washable material. Recycled paper bags are to 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. This bill bridges the two to meet consumers where they are while demonstrating care for the environments in which our stores reside,” said CGA President and CEO Ron Fong.

About CGA

For more than 125 years, the California Grocers Association has served as the voice of the state’s grocery community. A nonprofit, statewide trade association, CGA’s membership is comprised of over 300 retailers operating more than 6,000 brick-and-mortar stores, and approximately 150 grocery supply companies.