- Proposition 67, which allows a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags in California, has passed with 53% of votes.
- This proposition will uphold Senate Bill 270 which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014. This will require retailers to phase out single-use plastic bags in a multi-step process depending on their size and charge at least 10 cents for recycled paper or reusable bags.
- Proposition 65, which would have prohibited retailers from keeping fees on paper or reusable bags, has officially failed. "No" votes stood at 55.3% with 100% reporting.
Prop 67 gained support thanks in large part to efforts from coastal counties and urban population centers. Current results show the largest margin of support came from San Francisco — which passed its own bag ban in 2007 — with 75.4% of voters in favor. Counties with the state's other major cities also supported upholding the ban though with slimmer margins in some cases.
Representatives of the plastics industry were the driving force in trying to overturn the 2014 law and raised more than $6 million to defeat Prop 67. Environmental groups were vastly outspent, though a majority of newspapers in the state took their side. As for Prop 65, the papers showed similar opposition, with The Mercury News editorial board notably calling it "one of the most disingenuous ballot measures in state history."
Hawaii entered into a de facto plastic bag ban in 2015 when all of its counties banned the bags, but California is now the first state in the country to officially enact a ban through a statewide measure. Bans or fees have been passed in major cities such as Seattle, New York, and Chicago, as well as in a few U.S. territories. Critics of the bags say they can be disruptive in material recovery facilities, clog up storm drains and contribute to marine pollution.
While this may embolden current efforts in state such as Massachusetts it's also becoming common for states to try to pass legislation prohibiting any type of ban or fee. California may be claimed as a victory by environmental groups, but the plastics industry will not be giving up in others states and there will be many more battles to come.