Encinitas— The City Council voted tonight to pursue a ban on single-use plastic bags citywide. This vote clears the way for staff to draft an ordinance that’s right for Encinitas, putting the city on track to phase out plastic bags sometime next year. To date, 88 California cities and counties have committed to phasing out bags, only 12 away from 100. One in three Californians live somewhere with a plastic bag ban in effect or coming into effect.
"The Encinitas City Council has a critical role to play in protecting our environment by eliminating plastic bag waste and preventing the proliferation of plastic pollution in our communities," said Roger Kube with Surfrider's San Diego Chapter. “This important commitment for Encinitas shows yet again that we can achieve lasting victories for the ocean and our environment,” said Nathan Weaver with Environment California. “Phasing out plastic bags is the right choice to protect our rivers, beaches, and the Pacific Ocean."
Single-use plastic bags are one of the most common garbage items removed from California’s beaches by Ocean Conservancy volunteers. They are a direct threat to ocean wildlife, like the sea turtles that mistake them for edible jellyfish. One in three leatherback sea turtles studied had plastic in their stomachs, most often a plastic bag, according to an analysis of over 370 autopsies. A study by the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association found that plastic shopping bags alone make up as much as 8 percent of the garbage that reaches the San Francisco Bay.
“Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute the ocean for hundreds of years,” commented Weaver.
Environment California is a state-based, citizen-funded, environmental advocacy organization working toward a cleaner, greener, healthier future.