Let’s start with you are what you eat… Who’s hungry for plastic?
Update November 1, 2016: I forgot to mention that I emailed the Yes on 65 people on October 24th but have not heard back.
On September 30th, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown made history when he signed into law senate bill 270 which banned the distribution of single-use plastic bags in California. With a start date of January 1st, 2015, SB 270 would have immediately removed about 90% of the 15 billion bags Californians consumed each year. Fifteen billion bags translated to about $100 million of revenue each year, so it was no surprise when the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) sued the state to block the ban. The group argued that it was not the responsibility of the state to determine what type of vessels Californians could use to transport their groceries and other items. Spending about $3.5 million dollars, they were successful in delaying the ban by rallying enough support to block implementation of the ban until the people could vote.
On Election Day 2016, Californians will have the opportunity to either uphold or throw up the plastic bag ban.
In short, Californians must vote YES on Proposition 67 to uphold the bag ban, which would go into effect on January 1st, 2017. A NO vote would maintain the status quo, which means that bag would only be banned on a city-by-city basis. There are currently 67 ordinances covering 88 municipalities statewide. Check out Surfrider Foundation’s website for one of the most comprehensive lists of bag bans from around the United States.
If only it was as easy as voting YES on 67
In addition to creating Prop 67, the APBA also created Prop 65. Per Californians Against Waste, Prop 65 was placed on the ballot to “confuse and mislead voters in an effort to block passage of Prop 67.” There are NO environmental groups supporting Prop 65 because it most likely will not ban anything.
If both propositions 65 and 67 pass, then the one will the most votes will take effect. Therefore, you must vote NO on 65 and YES on 67. Voting this way is the only way to uphold the plastic bag ban.
Here are 10 reasons to ban the bag, via Heal the Bay:
1. Plastic bags kill ocean animals: every year more than one million seabirds and 100 thousand marine mammals are killed in our oceans
2. Plastic bags poison the food chain: fish and marine mammals eat plastic. If fish eat plastic and humans eat fish and you believe that you are what you eat…
3. Plastic bags are used for less than 12 minutes: disposable items are only used out of convenience, but are easily replaced with more durable options
4. Less than 5% of plastic bags get recycled: plastic bags jam up conveyor belt and equipment at recycled centers and just get thrown away
5. Plastic in the ocean could outweigh fish by 2050: that’s right, it is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans
6. Cleaning up plastic bags costs taxpayers millions: plastic bags clog storm drains, polluting our waterways
7. Plastic bags aren’t free: the long-term effect of plastic pollution in our environment far outweighs the convenience of using a grocery bag for a few minutes
8. Plastic bags are an eyesore: we’ve all seen plastic bags blowing in the wind
9. The plastic bag industry profits off pollution: the impact of plastic bags on our environment is akin to the impact of cigarettes on our health
10. A statewide bag ban would make things simpler: currently bags are banned in some places, but not others, causing confusion. A statewide bag is easier for consumers and businesses alike
Stand up for what you believe in
Zero Waste Guy went the extra mile—literally!
“Yesterday I ran the Rock ‘n Roll Los Angeles half marathon draped in single-use plastic bags. I was inspired by Rob Greenfield’s garbage suit. In just under two hours I ran 13.1 miles, finishing in the top 84th percentile overall! I received more positive feedback than I could have imagined. I even shared a photo from the finish line on Instagram that is now my most popular post ever!”
This morning I ran the @runrocknroll LA half marathon as a #bagmonster to create awareness for plastic pollution. Please encourage your California friends to vote NO on 65 and YES on 67. If you want more details send me a message! Tag your California friends! #RnRLA #BanTheBag #zerowaste #sustainability #nomeatathlete #vegansofig #healthebay #surfrider #goingzerowaste #plasticfree
What can you do?
Encourage your friends to vote NO on 65 and YES on 67. If they need more information, share this post!
Thank you so much for your support in banning the bag!
So wonderful! As of the first of February, my home city of Chicago has implemented a bag tax. Every time a cashier now asks me, “Did you bring a bag with you?” I smile. It’s a little step toward this end goal!
Congrats! Studies have shown that upon the implementation of these types of ordinances, there is something like a 90% decline in the distribution of bags. Over time, be weary of bag-fatigue. I’ve seen this in my city, which adopted a bag ban in 2012. Sometimes I’ll come shopping without bags because I want just a few items, or I’ll stuff my reusable bag to the brim. I’ve seen an uptick in instances of cashiers offering me bags for free, saying things like, “Are you sure you don’t want one?” Sure, I can report them, but how could I prove such a thing? There has also been a trend, specifically with Ralph’s/Kroger and Target (among others), of switching from film plastic, to paper, and now to more “durable” plastic. Most of these ordinances are written in a way that only bans single use bags, but not plastic altogether.
I think plastic bags should be banned for good.
Me too. They don’t serve much of a purpose, but have horrible impacts on the environment!