Sacramento — Joined by their lobbyists and allies, a score of representatives from a California plastic bag manufacturer rallied on the Capitol steps to oppose a statewide plastic bag ban. Despite this industry opposition, the bill, SB 270 (Padilla, de León, and Lara), has won the support of numerous environmental organizations, the California Grocers Association, the California Retailers Association, labor, reusable bag manufacturers, the City of Los Angeles, and communities around California. Nathan Weaver, Oceans Advocate with Environment California issued the following statement in response to the plastics industry event:
“Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute the ocean for hundreds of years. Banning plastic bags is the right choice to protect our parks, our rivers, our beaches, and the Pacific Ocean. I am proud to support Senator Padilla, Senator de León, and Senator Lara in their effort to phase out single-use bags statewide.
“Over 100 California communities have already banned plastic bags. More than 1 in 3 Californians already live somewhere with a plastic bag ban in place. The experience of Los Angeles, San Jose, Richmond, Long Beach, South Lake Tahoe, and others shows that plastic bag bans work to protect our environment.
“Single-use plastic bags are one of the most common garbage items collected from California beaches each year. 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. Another study found that plastic shopping bags alone make up as much as 8 percent of the garbage that reaches the San Francisco Bay through local storm drains.
“It’s time to ban plastic bags statewide. I urge our elected leaders in the California Assembly to stand with their cities, pass SB 270, and ban plastic bags across California.”
The Assembly Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on SB 270 later this spring.
Environment California is a state-based, citizen-funded, environmental advocacy organization working toward a cleaner, greener, healthier future.