BILL NUMBER: AB 1998 AMENDED
AMENDED IN SENATE JULY 15, 2010
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY MAY 28, 2010
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 20, 2010
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 5, 2010
INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Brownley
(Principal coauthor: Senator Leno)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Ammiano, Chesbro, De Leon, Evans,
Feuer, Hill, Bonnie Lowenthal, Nava, Ruskin, Skinner, Torlakson, and
(Coauthors: Senators DeSaulnier, Hancock, Liu, Lowenthal, and
FEBRUARY 17, 2010
An act to add Chapter 5.3 (commencing with Section 42280)
to, and to repeal Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 42250) of,
Part 3 of 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
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
AB 1998, as amended, Brownley. Solid waste: single-use carryout
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This requirement is repealed on January 1, 2013.
This bill would repeal those at-store recycling program
requirements on January 1, 2011 2012 ,
and would instead, on and after January 1, 2012, prohibit certain
types of stores, as defined, from providing a single-use carryout bag
to a customer. The bill would, on and after July 1, 2013, prohibit
convenience food stores, foodmarts, and certain specified stores from
providing a single-use carryout bag to a customer. The bill
would require both types of stores, as of January 1, 2011, to make
reusable bags available for purchase and would allow certain stores
to provide reusable bags to customers at no cost. The bill
would require a store, on and after July 1, 2013, to only provide
reusable bags, as defined, or and would
require a store, as of January 1, 2011, to make available for
sale recycled paper bags at a reasonable cost, but not less than
$0.05. The bill would exempt the sale of certain
specified bags by certain stores from the above
prohibition and restriction requirements
. The bill would, beginning January 1, 2013, require a reusable
bag manufacturer to obtain a biennial certification from the
Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery by submitting a
certification fee and a certification that its reusable bag meets
specified requirements. The bill would specify administrative civil
penalties for a person who that
violates the above requirements. The bill would require the
department to deposit the certification fees into the Reusable Bag
Account, which would be established by the bill in the Integrated
Waste Management Fund, and to deposit the penalties and fines
collected into the Penalty Subaccount, which would be established by
the bill in the account. The bill would provide that moneys in the
account and the subaccount would be expended by
the department, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to implement
the above requirements.
This bill would , as of January 1, 2011, preempt local
regulations on the use and sales of reusable bags, single-use
carryout bags, recycled paper bags, or other specified bags at
stores, as defined.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the
(a) The prohibition imposed by this act, pursuant to Section 42281
of the Public Resources Code, is necessary to reduce the
environmental, public health, economic, and societal costs resulting
from the production, use, and discard of single-use plastic carryout
(b) Despite local and state efforts to minimize land-based sources
of pollution, and increasing efforts worldwide to protect water
quality, the quantity of plastic pollution in the world's aquatic
environments is increasing.
(c) Recycled content paper carryout bags, while not without their
impacts, when made with 40 percent or more postconsumer content, are
a high value recyclable collected in every curbside and community
recycling program in California.
(d) Plastics made from bio-based sources that are marketed as
"compostable" or "biodegradable" are not environmentally sound
alternatives to plastic carryout bags because they 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. Most
Californians lack access to composting facilities capable of
accepting compostable plastic bags.
(e) 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.
(f) 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.
(g) In the United States, and in California, many cities have
already introduced or enacted bans of on
single-use carryout bags creating a patchwork of rules and
regulations governing the use and disposal of these bags.
(h) The Legislature finds and declares that environmental and
economic costs posed by single-use bags is
are of statewide interest and concern and that the state should
take action to substantially reduce the use of plastic and other
SEC. 2. Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section
42250) of Part 3 of Division 30 of the Public Resources Code is
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 2012 , and as of that date is
repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before
January 1, 2013 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
(a) "Department" means the Department of Resources Recycling and
(b) "Recycled paper bag" means a paper carryout bag provided by a
store to a customer at the point of sale that meets all of the
(1) Contains a minimum of 40 percent postconsumer recycled
(2) Is accepted for recycling in curbside programs in a majority
of households that have access to curbside recycling programs in the
(3) Is capable of composting, consistent with the timeline and
specifications of the American Society of Testing and Materials
(ASTM) Standard Specifications Specification
for Compostable Plastics D6400, as published in September 2004.
(4) Has printed on the bag the name of the manufacturer, the
location (country) where the bag was manufactured, and the percentage
of postconsumer content.
(c) (1) Until a standard is established and enforceable by the
department, "reusable bag" means a bag that meets both of the
(A) Is designed and manufactured for at least 100 uses.
(B) (i) Is made of a washable material that does not contain lead
or any other heavy metal in a toxic amount, as determined by the
(ii) The requirements of clause (i) shall not affect any authority
of the Department of Toxic Substances Control pursuant to Article 14
(commencing with Section 25251) of Chapter 6.5 of Division 20 of the
Health and Safety Code and, notwithstanding subdivision (c) of
Section 25257.1 of the Health and Safety Code, shall not be
considered as a product category already regulated or subject to
(2) By January 1, 2013, the department shall establish standards
in regulations that define "reusable bag," using the standards
specified in paragraph (1), and any additional durability, material
content, or labeling requirements. Labeling requirements shall, at a
minimum, require reusable bags to be imprinted, in a manner
sufficient to be identifiable and readable, with both of the
(A) The name of the reusable bag producer.
(B) The reusable bag seal or logo, as determined by the
department, showing compliance with the minimum standards.
(d) "Reusable bag producer" means either of the following:
(1) A person or entity that manufactures a reusable bag.
(2) A person or entity that initially sells or offers for sale or
distribution a reusable bag in California.
(e) (1) "Single-use carryout bag" means a bag made of plastic,
paper, or other material , that is provided by a
store to a customer at the point of sale and that is not a reusable
bag, as defined in subdivision (c).
(2) A single-use carryout bag does not include either of the
(A) A bag provided by a pharmacy to a customer purchasing
(B) A nonhandled bag used to protect a purchased item from
damaging or contaminating other purchased items when placed in a
recycled paper bag or reusable bag.
(f) "Store" means a retail establishment that meets any of the
(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 convenience food store, foodmart, or other entity engaged
in the retail sale of a limited line of goods that generally
includes milk, bread, soda, and snack foods with a Type 20 or 21
license issued by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Article 2. Carryout Bag Regulation
42281. (a) (1) On and after January 1, 2012, a store, as defined
in paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 42280, shall
not provide a single-use carryout bag to a customer at the point of
(2) On and after July 1, 2013, a store, as defined in paragraph
(1) or (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 42280, shall only provide
reusable bags, as defined by subdivision (c) of Section 42280, that
meet the requirements of this chapter and standards established by
(b) A store shall make reusable bags available for purchase by a
customer. A store, as defined in paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision
(f) of Section 42280, may provide reusable bags to customers at no
(c) Notwithstanding any other law, a store may provide a customer
participating in the California Special Supplemental Food Program for
Women, Infants, and Children pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with
Section 123275) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 106 of the Health
and Safety Code with a reusable bag or a recycled paper bag at no
(d) Notwithstanding the requirements of subdivision (a), a store
shall make available for sale to a consumer at the point of sale a
recycled paper bag at a reasonable cost, but not less than five cents
($0.05), except as provided in subdivision (c).
(e) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), because the City and County
of San Francisco provides residents with curbside collection of
foodwaste for composting, and has encouraged stores to stock
compostable plastic bags to facilitate participation in that program,
a store in the City and County of San Francisco may sell to a
consumer at the point of sale a compostable plastic bag meeting the
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard
Specification for Compostable Plastics D6400, as published in
September 2004, at a cost not less than five cents ($0.05).
42282. Beginning July 1, 2013, a store as defined in paragraph
(3) of subdivision (f) of Section 42280 shall comply with the
provisions of this article.
42283. (a) On or after January 1, 2013, and on or before January
1 every two years thereafter, a reusable bag producer that sells,
distributes, or makes a reusable bag available to a store in
California, shall submit a certification to the department that each
reusable bag meets the requirements of subdivision (c) of Section
42280 and associated standards issued by the department.
(b) A reusable bag producer shall submit a fee to the department
with each certification pursuant to Section 42284.
(c) The department shall provide a system to submit certifications
(d) The department shall publish a list on its Internet Web site
(1) The name, location, and appropriate contact information of a
reusable bag producer in compliance with this chapter.
(2) The reusable bag product or products in compliance with this
42284. (a) The fee for the initial certification by
of a reusable bag producer, as defined in
subdivision (d) of Section 42280, shall not exceed ten thousand
dollars ($10,000) per reusable bag producer, as determined by the
department. In establishing the initial fee, consideration by the
department shall include, but not be limited to, if provided by a
reusable bag producer, the annual sales revenue of a participating
reusable bag producer, the number of employees of the participating
reusable bag producer, and the number of reusable bag products to be
submitted for certification by the participating reusable bag
(b) The fee for biennial certification thereafter shall be two
thousand dollars ($2,000). The department may adjust the biennial
certification fee, not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000) per
certification, if the department determines that additional fees are
necessary to support implementation of this chapter. Notification of
any fee increases shall be provided to certified producers and posted
on the department's Internet Web site 60 days in advance of the fee
(c) The fees in this section shall not exceed the amount necessary
to cover the department's reasonable costs associated with the
implementation of this chapter.
42285. (a) The department may inspect and audit any entity
subject to this chapter.
(b) On or after July 1, 2013, the department may test any reusable
bag manufactured by a reusable bag producer and provided to a store
for sale or distribution for compliance with this chapter and
(c) The department may enter into an agreement with other state
entities that conduct inspections to provide necessary enforcement of
42286. (a) Any violation of Section 42281 shall be subject to an
administrative civil penalty assessed by the department in an amount
not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500) for the first violation.
Subsequent violations may be increased by up to five hundred dollars
($500) per violation, not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000)
(b) Any violation of Section 42283, or any submission of false or
misleading information to the department, shall be subject to an
administrative civil penalty assessed by the department of up to
fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) per violation, not to exceed an
annual total of one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000).
(c) The department shall publish a list on its Internet Web site
of any fines or penalties that have been levied against a violator of
this section for failure to comply with the requirements of this
42287. (a) The department shall deposit all certification fees
paid pursuant to this article into the Reusable Bag Account, which is
hereby created in the Integrated Waste Management Fund in the State
Treasury. The moneys deposited in the Reusable Bag Account shall be
expended by the department, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to
assist the department with its costs of implementing this chapter.
(b) The department shall deposit all penalties and fines collected
pursuant to this article into the Penalty Subaccount, which is
hereby created in the Reusable Bag Account, and shall be expended by
the department, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to assist the
department with its costs of implementing this chapter.
42288. The department may adopt regulations that are reasonable
and necessary to implement this chapter.
Article 3. Preemption
42289. This chapter is a matter of statewide interest and concern
and is applicable uniformly throughout the state. Accordingly, this
chapter occupies the whole field of regulation of reusable bags,
single-use carryout bags, recycled paper bags, or any other bag
referred to in this chapter. No city, county, or other local public
agency may enforce or implement any existing or new ordinance,
resolution, regulation, or rule on any store as defined by this
chapter relating to reusable bags, single-use carryout bags, recycled
paper bags, or any other bag referred to in this chapter unless
expressly authorized by this division.