Richmond, CA – Richmond became the first city in Contra Costa County to ban plastic bags. Meanwhile, while the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved participation in a joint plastic bag ban with Sonoma’s incorporated cities.
“This important step forward for shows yet again that local communities can achieve lasting victories for ocean and environmental health,” said Nathan Weaver of Environment California. “We continue to build more and more momentum to keep plastic out of the Pacific. Every week cities, town, counties and others are working to ban single use plastic bags.”
Single-use plastic bags are one of the most common garbage items on California’s beaches according to the Los Angeles Times. They are a direct threat to ocean wildlife, like the sea turtles that mistake them for edible jellyfish. One in three leatherback sea turtles have plastic in their stomach, most often a plastic bag, based on a study of over 370 autopsies. Plastic bags make up as much as 8 percent, by volume, of all garbage flowing into the San Francisco Bay.
“Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute the ocean for hundreds of years,” commented Weaver.
Plastic bag bans have enjoyed tremendous success across California. Nearly 80 California local governments have already banned single-use plastic bags, including San Francisco, San Jose, Cupertino, Daly City, Oakland, and Marin County. Nearly 11 million Californians, about one third of the state, now live in a community that has approved a plastic bag ban.
Environment California is a state-based, citizen-funded, environmental advocacy organization working toward a cleaner, greener, healthier future.