Sacramento— Senator Alex Padilla, Senator Kevin de León, and Senator Ricardo Lara have announced a new, joint bill to phase out single-use plastic bags in California. Nathan Weaver, Oceans Advocate with Environment California, issued the following statement:
“Plastic bags are an environmental blight and a threat to wildlife. The success of 90 local plastic bag bans from Arcata to Solana Beach proves that this policy works to protect the environment. I applaud efforts by Senator Padilla, Senator de León, Senator Lara and other leaders to do the right thing for our environment by phasing out single-use plastic bags. I look forward to working with the Senators to ensure the success of this policy.
“This bill is an important example of the cooperation and problem solving that prove we can get things done in Sacramento. I commend them both for their efforts. Likewise, I commend my colleagues in the environmental community, and, in particular, my colleagues at Californians Against Waste, for the role they played in making today’s proposal possible.
“Single-use plastic bags are one of the most common garbage items removed from California’s beaches by Ocean Conservancy volunteers. They are a direct threat to ocean wildlife, like the sea turtles that mistake them for edible jellyfish. One in three leatherback sea turtles studied had plastic in their stomachs, most often a plastic bag, according to an analysis of over 370 autopsies. Another study by the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association observed that plastic shopping bags alone make up as much as 8 percent of the garbage that reaches the San Francisco Bay.
“Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute the ocean for hundreds of years. The success of our cities proves that plastic bag bans work to protect ocean wildlife and clean up our streets, parks, rivers, and beaches. It’s time to phase out single-use plastic bags statewide.”
Environment California is a state-based, citizen-funded, environmental advocacy organization working toward a cleaner, greener, healthier future.