90 percent of ocean debris is plastic 

For decades, plastic trash has been polluting the Pacific, with damaging results for ocean wildlife. Ninety percent of ocean debris, which harms more than 660 marine species, is made up of plastic trash. This plastic kills thousands of birds, marine mammals and sea turtles each year.

For example, to a sea turtle, a plastic bag looks like a jellyfish. The sea turtle ingests the bag, which can fill or block the stomach, leaving the turtle to starve and sometimes die.

Image: P.Lindgren / Creative Commons License

That’s shocking -- until you learn that in some places in the Pacific, there’s so much plastic swirling around that it outweighs plankton 6 to 1. 

Yet before California communities started banning plastic bags, our state used about 19 billion plastic bags each year, with less than 5% recycled.

As people learned about the vast amounts of plastic polluting the Pacific, and the damage being done to ocean wildlife, they took action. Together with our allies, Environment California asked the state to ban plastic bags and came just a few votes short of winning in 2010.

150 communities have already gone bag free 

We didn’t give up. We shifted much of our focus to the local level, and soon towns, cities and counties throughout California were voting to ban the bag. At our last count, 150 communities, representing one-third of the state’s population, have gone bag-free.

Faced with a growing patchwork quilt of local bans, the grocery industry got behind the statewide bill and helped us push it past the finish line in 2014, with Gov. Jerry Brown signing the bill into law in September.

Original Image: Flickr User-Neon Tommy / Creative Commons License

There are now 6 billion fewer plastic bags 

Thanks to California’s local bag bans, we’ve reduced the number of plastic bags by 6 billion per year and that number will continue to dwindle -- if the statewide ban takes effect.

The problem is that, immediately after the new law was signed, a few big plastic companies announced their intention to repeal it.

We're up against out-of-state plastic bag manufacturers

Led by Hilex Poly, a South Carolina-based plastic bag manufacturer, the Big Plastic lobby quickly spent millions to qualify a repeal question for the California ballot. Who knows how much out-of-state plastic bag manufacturers will spend to win. What a waste!

Now it’s up to us to save the California bag ban so we can keep more plastic out of the Pacific. Environment California is a lead member of the coalition working to save the law.

Original image: Flickr User-Taber Andrew Bain / Creative Commons License

Our Bag Ban Action Teams are fighting back

We’re organizing hundreds of Californians to join our Bag Ban Action Teams. When Big Plastic puts out a misleading ad or sends a deceptive mailing, we want to respond as rapidly and as personally as possible. As we get closer to the election, we’ll also organize teams to inform voters and turn them out to save the bag ban. Throughout the campaign, we’ll continue to defend our local bag bans and seek to win even more – because the best way to convince people that bag bans work is by showing them.

Showing the Pacific some love? That’s what saving the California Bag Ban is all about.

A few out-of-state companies are working to repeal the ban before it even has a chance to work? That’s garbage!

Image: Staff

Paid for by Save the Bag Ban, Yes on 67, Sponsored by Environment California.