South Lake Tahoe—The South Lake Tahoe City Council voted this afternoon to ban single-use plastic shopping bags. Once confirmed, the ban will take effect in grocery stores and farmers markets three months after adoption and will apply to all retail establishments after one year. Pharmacies, restaurants, and non-profits are exempted. Councilmembers Laine, Swanson, and Cole voted for the ordinance. Per standard procedure, the council is expected to finalize the ordinance at a second reading later this month.
“This important step forward for South Lake Tahoe shows yet again that we can achieve lasting victories for our environment,” said Nathan Weaver with Environment California. “Banning plastic bags is the right choice to protect Lake Tahoe and our rivers and parks. I applaud the City Council members for their leadership on this issue.”
Single-use plastic bags are one of the most common garbage items removed from California’s shores by Ocean Conservancy volunteers. 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. They are a direct threat to wildlife, entangling fish, birds, and other animals.
“Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute our environment for hundreds of years,” commented Weaver.
Plastic bag bans have enjoyed tremendous success across California. Over 80 California local governments have banned single-use plastic bags, including San Francisco, San Jose, Richmond, Oakland, Los Angeles, and others. Together, these local governments represent nearly 1 in 3 Californians.
Environment California is a state-based, citizen-funded, environmental advocacy organization working toward a cleaner, greener, healthier future.