Bag Props on California’s ballot: Yes on 67, No on 65

By: Jennie Romer

On September 30, 2014 Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 270, making California the first state in the U.S. to adopt a statewide plastic bag law. Later that day, representatives of the American Progressive Bag Alliance (a group of American plastic bag manufacturers and related companies) submitted paperwork to California’s Attorney General for a statewide referendum seeking to undo the statewide bag law and require approval by voters. The referendum put implementation of California’s statewide bag law on hold pending the outcome of a November 8, 2016 ballot proposition.


Background on the Creation of Local California Bag Laws

Passage of California’s statewide plastic bag law was the culmination of years of grassroots community advocacy focusing on passing local bag laws, which faced strong opposition from the plastic bag manufacturing industry. In 2007 San Francisco was the first City in the U.S. to pass a plastic bag ban. That same year, industry groups (namely Save the Plastic Bag Coalition) began filing numerous lawsuits against municipalities in California that adopted similar legislation. The lawsuits alleged that the environmental impacts of paper bags might be worse than those of plastic bags and claimed that expensive Environmental Impact Reports were required pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for each municipality considering adopting a plastic bag ban.  Read the rest of this entry »

Update on Oahu’s plastic bag bans by Hawaii Public Radio

Jennie Romer, founder of, was featured in this Hawaii Public Radio segment about the reusable bag loophole in Oahu’s plastic bag ban.


Photo Credit: FLICKR / VELKR0 via Hawaii Public Radio

Short YouTube Videos by Jennie Romer Explaining the Intricacies of Plastic Bag Laws

Jennie Romer, attorney and founder of, has created a series of YouTube Videos explaining the intricacies of plastic bag laws. This series of short 3-5 minute videos covers much of the information in her law journal articles but in a more accessible format.


May 20th Hearing on New York Senate Bill That Would Preempt Local Carryout Bag Fees

New York State Senator Simcha Felder has introduced S7336, which has passed the Senate Committee “establishes a prohibition on the imposition of any tax, fee or local charge on carry out merchandise bags.” The companion bill in the State Assembly is A9904. This bill is intended to preempt NYC’s new #BYOBag law.

A public hearing in NYC about the Senate bill is scheduled for May 20th 10am-3pm at 250 Broadway (across from City Hall in NYC). This hearing was originally scheduled for June 3rd.


5¢ Fee on Plastic Bags Is Approved by New York City Council

On May 5, 2016, the New York City Council adopted the  #BYOBag bill (Int. No. 209-A) that will require a 5-cent minimum fee on all carryout bags provided at check-out at all retailers in NYC. The bill goes into effect on October 1, 2016.

To keep up to date on the NYC bill, follow BagItNYC on Facebook or @BagItNYC on Twitter.





Jennie Romer Profiled in The New Yorker

Jennie Romer, founder of, was profiled in the current issue of The New Yorker. The Bag Bill: Taking action on a ubiquitous ecological blight focuses on Jennie’s pro bono work on NYC’s #BYOBag bill.



NYC’s #BYOBag Bill Moves Forward as 5-cent Fee With Majority Support

The NYC #BYOBag bill fee was recently reduced from 10 cents to a 5 cents and now has 26 co-sponsors, meaning that it has majority support of the 51-member City Council. The amended bill was recently endorsed by the Crains New York Business editorial board. To keep up to date on the NYC bill, follow BagItNYC on Facebook or @BagItNYC on Twitter.

The full PRESS RELEASE dated April 13, 2016 from NYC Council Members Lander. Chin, and Reynoso is pasted below. Read the rest of this entry »

Upcoming plastic bag bill events in NYC

February 25th: “Conservation Conversations” event sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman at NYU

Join Jennie Romer (attorney and founder of for this “Conservation Conversations” event at NYU sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman about the impact of plastic bags on our environment on February 25th at 6:30pm. Make sure to RSVP (see poster)!








March 1st: Competition for best Elevator Pitch about NYC’s Bag Bill sponsored by Manhattan BP Gale Brewer

Do you live in NYC and want to learn more about NYC’s bag bill? Or do you know all about the bill but want to refine your pitch (how you describe it to your friends and neighbors)? Come to this competition and work with experienced coaches then get the chance to compete for best “elevator pitch” about the bill. Be sure to RSVP (see poster) and check out this FB event page.

Camel: “Albatross of the desert” (new video)

Artist Chris Jordan is well known for his striking photos of dead albatross with stomachs full of plastic in Midway Atoll. This new video from Chris Jordan features a Camel Gastrolith full of plastic bags and these camels are being called the “Albatross of the desert”. Read the rest of this entry »

City Council Member in Arizona Sues to Repeal State Law Prohibiting Municipalities From Regulating Plastic Bags

Tempe City Council Member Lauren Kuby filed a complaint in Arizona Superior Court in September seeking to overturn SB 1241, the statewide law that prohibits municipalities from regulating “auxiliary containers” including carryout bags. SB 1241 is titled “Relating to the Arizona health care cost containment system administration” but was amended to prohibit a municipality from requiring an owner of a business or commercial building to measure and report energy usage and also to prohibit a municipality from imposing a tax or fee on auxiliary containers.

SB 1241 was approved by the Arizona House in April 2015 and at that time Council Member Kuby was participating in study sessions with stakeholders  in Tempe and developed a proposed ordinance that would have prohibited retailers from providing single-use plastic bags and allowed for a minimum 10-cent charge for paper bags. Further discussion of Tempe’s proposed ordinance was sidelined by SB 1241’s prohibition. Read the rest of this entry »