State & County Move to Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags

Plastic bags do not biodegrade. That means if they are littered they can wash into the storm drain system and end up being dumped into our ocean waters.

There, plastic bags can become a problem for aquatic life for decades on end. Turtles and other creatures often mistake plastic bags for food, and birds and fish can get wrapped up in the bags causing death and severe injury.

In order to address the problem, Santa Monica State Assemblywoman Julia Brownley has proposed a bill (AB 1998) that would ban single-use bags at check-out stands at most stores in the state, including grocery, drug and other types of convenience stores.

On June 28, 2010 the California State Senate Environment Committee supported Sen. Brownley’s legislation, which makes the bill one step closer to becoming law, which Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says he supports.

“I commend the Assembly for passing AB 1998, which would make California the first state in the nation to ban plastic bags,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “This bill will be a great victory for our environment and I applaud Assemblywoman Brownley for working on this effort.”

More recently, in late July, Los Angeles County Supervisors also put forth their own proposal to ban single use plastic bags in LA County.

As such, plastic bags in our region may soon be checking-out for good.

How do you feel about banning single use plastic bags?

UPCOMING: This Sunday, August 22nd head on out to “Bag It! A Film Festival” at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater. Screenings will begin at 4pm and run until 7pm. You can RSVP by clicking here. And if you go, be sure to let us know what you thought of the film festival.

UPDATE: The Plastic Bag Ban bill (AB 1998) failed passage on August 31, 2010, stalling in the California State Senate with a 14-21 vote.

*Photo courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald.

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