Single-use plastic bags, the flimsy variety provided gratis by grocery stores, are one of the most plaguing and persistent types of litter in our natural environment. Not only are plastic bags an eyesore, they are harmful to wildlife. In the ocean, plastic bags resemble jellyfish and hungry sea life, like turtles, eat the bags. Plastic bags are responsible for many deaths, as the animals starve to death due to their stomachs being clogged with garbage. One easy and commonsense solution is to ban these disposable bags and to provide incentives for people to bring reusable shopping bags when they shop.
California has a history of leading the nation when it comes to sustainability—banning the use of single-use plastic bags is no exception. In 2007, San Francisco became the first jurisdiction to ban the bag. Other jurisdictions, like Mendocino County and the City of Arcata, followed suit. In 2014, Governor Brown signed SB 270, the first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags in the nation. The bag ban did not take effect, however, due to a backlash from the plastic bag industry. Signatures were gathered to put the measure back on the ballot this year as Proposition 67.
Now it is up to us. By voting Yes on Proposition 67, you will uphold the bag ban passed by the California legislature in 2014.
Bag bans work. In San Jose, the city monitored litter before and after a bag ban went in effect. The results were stunning: litter had been reduced 59 percent on city streets, 89 percent in storm drains, and 60 percent in creeks.
Proposition 67 is endorsed by many conservation organizations, including Humboldt Baykeeper, the California Coastkeeper Alliance, the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), Sierra Club California, and others.
Big plastic is spending big bucks to defeat Proposition 67, outspending supporters nearly 3-1. Under the deceptive moniker, the “Progressive Bag Alliance,” the plastic industry is not opposed to deception and lies, including that banning bags is bad for the environment. Don’t buy it.
Vote Yes on Proposition 67 and remember to BYOB: Bring Your Own Bag!