San Diego—The City Council’s Rules and Economic Development Committee unanimously voted today to advance a citywide ban on single-use plastic shopping bags. Councilmembers Lightner, Faulconer, Alvarez, Kersey, and Emerald voted to advance the measure.
“This important step forward for San Diego shows yet again that we can achieve lasting victories for the ocean and our environment,” said Nathan Weaver with Environment California. “Banning plastic bags is the right choice to protect our beaches and the Pacific Ocean. I applaud the committee members for their leadership on this issue.”
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.
“Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute the ocean for hundreds of years,” commented Weaver.
Over 80 California cities and counties have banned plastic bags, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Dana Point, Huntington Beach, Solana Beach, and Santa Monica. Together, these local governments represent nearly 1 in 3 Californians. San Jose’s plastic bag ban led to an 89 percent reduction in plastic bags polluting city storm drains and a 60 percent drop in plastic bags in San Jose’s creeks.
Environment California is a state-based, citizen-funded, environmental advocacy organization working toward a cleaner, greener, healthier future.