California Grocers Association Lauds Proposed Uniform Standard for Single-Use Carryout Bags


Contact: Dave Heylen, V.P. Communications California Grocers Association
Tel: 916.448.3545
Fax: 916.448.2793
E-mail: [email protected]

California Grocers Association
1415 L Street, Suite 450
Sacramento, CA 95814

SACRAMENTO, CA (June 1, 2010) – The California Grocers Association lauded the announcement of historic legislation on June 1 that would ban the free distribution of single-use carryout bags and require the sale of specified single-use recycled paper carryout bags to customers at the pointof-sale.

Assembly Bill 1998 (D-Brownley), supported by business, lawmakers and environmentalists, would create a statewide standard for single-use carryout bags at supermarkets, chain pharmacies and other large grocery retailers beginning January 1, 2012, and at convenience stores, neighborhood markets and liquor stores beginning July 1, 2013.

The bill would require affected stores to provide reusable bags for sale or free distribution and would pre-empt local ordinances that regulate bags at those retailers subject to the state law.

“AB 1998 creates a uniform, statewide standard to help level the playing field among food retailers,” said California Grocers Association President Ronald Fong. “It addresses the issue of single-use carryout bags across all California jurisdictions and provides the most environmental gain with the least competitive disruption for retailers.”

Fong commended Assembly Member Julia Brownley for her leadership role in rallying business, lawmakers and environmentalists support.

“This historic legislation demonstrates California’s continued leadership role in environmental issues,” Fong said. “The same is true for the grocery industry. I like to think that grocers were ‘green’ when it was just a color.”

The industry’s ongoing sustainability efforts include recycling plastic, paper, cardboard, wood, green waste and animal products, as well as composting. In addition, the industry supported Assembly Bill 2449, the landmark plastic carryout bag recycling bill that became law in 2007.

Fong said changing consumer behavior will be challenging, but believes Californians will embrace the change. “Like AB 2449, our industry will do all it can to educate consumers to the benefits of reusable bags. Having until 2012 will allow grocers to move consumer behavior towards reusable bag use.”

The California Grocers Association is a non-profit trade association representing the food industry since 1898. CGA represents approximately 500 retail members operating over 6,000 food stores in California and Nevada, and approximately 200 grocery supplier companies. Retail membership includes chain and independent supermarkets, convenience stores and mass merchandisers