Trash is killing ocean wildlife

Californians throw away 123,000 tons of plastic bags each year, and too many of them end up as litter in our ocean. Today, there are 100 million tons of trash in the North Pacific Gyre; in some parts of the Pacific, plastic outweighs plankton 6 to 1.

All of this trash in the Pacific is creating an ecological disaster:

  • Turtles and seabirds frequently ingest floating plastic, mistaking it for food. They also get entangled in bags and often drown or die of suffocation.
  • Adult seabirds inadvertently feed small bits of plastic to their chicks — often causing them to starve to death after their stomachs become filled with plastic.
  • Toxic pollutants leach from the plastic into the water. Scientists are now studying whether fish and other marine animals absorb these toxic pollutants. If so, there is a good chance that we also absorb them when we eat fish.

What’s really scary is that scientists tell us this plastic may never biodegrade. And every day we go without tackling this problem, it becomes a little bit worse.

We can stop the waste

Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute our oceans for hundreds of years. Californians know this, and are taking action to protect the Pacific.

We’ve made great progress winning local bans and educating the public on the harmful effects of plastic. Today, bags are banned (or soon will be) in more than 100 California communities — and now 1 in 3 Californians are living bag-free. It's a great start, but we’re not stopping until we rid the whole state of plastic bag pollution.

Let's ban the bags statewide!

With more cities banning bags each month, we have the momentum. With your help, we can win an historic victory for our ocean — a statewide ban on plastic bags.

Member support makes it possible for our staff to do research, make our case to the media, reach out to critical constituencies, and help government officials make the right choices for our ocean.

Oceans updates

News Release | Environment California

Sacramento to draft ordinance that would ban plastic bags

Sacramento is one step closer to protecting ocean wildlife and ocean health. Today, the City Council’s Law and Legislation Committee moved forward to draft an ordinance that would ban single-use plastic bags citywide. This first step puts the ordinance on track for a final vote by the full City Council.

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Report

Environment California's 2013 Legislative Agenda

Environment California is your statewide environmental group that works to win real results for California's environment. Here is a list of Environment California's 2013 legislative priorities.

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Blog Post

Sacramento Votes today on Plastic Bag Ban

The Sacramento City Council will hold it's first vote on a plastic bag ban ordinance. The city's Law and Legislation Committee meets at 2:00pm, and will decide whether the cities moves forward to clean up one of the worst forms of plastic pollution in our ocean. Come to City Hall at 915 I Street to speak out for the ocean!

At 9:45am, Environment California will host a press conference outside City Hall with two members of the Sacramento City Council, Californians Against Waste, and local environmental activists. Join as as we call on the City Council to ban single-use plastic bags in the shadow of our giant inflatable sea turtle.

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News Release | Environment California

Two more cities ban plastic bags

The Cupertino City Council and Glendale City Council each voted unanimously tonight to bar stores from distributing single-use plastic bags within their respective city limits. The vote came after lengthy comment from residents, activists, and public officials in enthusiastic support of the ban.

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Blog Post

Two plastic bag ban votes tonight!

Glendale, located in Los Angeles County, and Cuptertino, located in Santa Clara County will vote tonight on plastic bag bans.

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