Sacramento – California is a step closer to banning single-use plastic bags statewide. The Assembly Natural Resources Committee voted this morning to approve SB 270, moving the legislation closer to a final vote on the Assembly floor later this session. Introduced by Senator Alex Padilla, Kevin de León, and Ricardo Lara, SB 270 will ban single-use plastic bags in grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, and food marts.
“This important step forward shows yet again that we can achieve lasting victories for ocean and environmental health,” said Nathan Weaver with Environment California. “Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute our ocean for hundreds of years. I congratulated Senators Padilla, de León, and Lara for their victory today, and I thank them for their leadership to protect the environment and California jobs.”
Plastic bags are a direct threat to wildlife, like the Pacific leatherback sea turtles that mistake them for food. A study of over 370 leatherback sea turtle autopsies found that one in three had plastic in their stomach, most often a plastic bag. Plastic bags are also one of the four most common items littered on California’s beaches according to Ocean Conservancy’s annual beach cleanup data.
More than 100 California local governments have already banned single-use plastic bags, including Los Angeles, Oakland, Long Beach, San Jose, and South Lake Tahoe. More than 1 in 3 Californians already live somewhere with a plastic bag ban in place.