Ventura—A unanimous Ventura City Council voted tonight to draft a citywide ban on single-use plastic bags. City staff will develop an ordinance, based on a region-wide model, and return for a final vote as early as this fall. Nearly 80 California local governments have already banned plastic bags, representing nearly 1 in 3 Californians.
“This important step forward for Ventura shows yet again that we can achieve lasting victories for ocean and environmental health,” said Nathan Weaver with Environment California. “Banning plastic bags is the right choice to protect our rivers, beaches, and the Pacific Ocean. I applaud the City Council members for their leadership on this issue.”
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, according to a study of over 370 autopsies. Plastic bags make up as much as 25 percent, by weight, of all garbage flowing out to sea on the Los Angeles River according to a 2008 L.A. County report.
“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 Los Angeles, Carpinteria, Ojai, Monterey, and every jurisdiction in San Luis Obispo County. Together, these local governments represent nearly 1 in 3 Californians. Santa Barbara County voted to develop a plastic bag ban in June, while Ventura County, Goleta, Santa Barbara, and Oxnard are eligible to adopt the same model ordinance taken up by the City of Ventura.
Environment California is a state-based, citizen-funded, environmental advocacy organization working toward a cleaner, greener, healthier future.