FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dave Heylen, V.P. Communications California Grocers Association
California Grocers Association
1415 L Street, Suite 450
Sacramento, CA 95814
SACRAMENTO, CA – (June 28, 2010) – A bill in the California Legislature that would establish a uniform, statewide standard regarding regulation of single-use carryout bags moved one step closer to resolution after passing out of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on a 5-2 vote.
Assembly Bill 1998 (D-Brownley) 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.
If signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, it 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 is critical to grocers, chain pharmacies, and small store operators currently facing the prospect of more than 40 local jurisdictions crafting their own, unique regulations. That patchwork of regulation would create substantial operational and competitive disadvantages for grocery retailers.
“AB 1998 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,” said California Grocers Association President Ronald Fong. “CGA applauds the Environmental Quality Committee for voting in favor of this very important legislation.”
The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee where it must be considered before August 13.
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