Calling On All California-Based Supporters
In 2014 the State of California passed the United State’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic grocery bags. Obviously, a major victory for all of us working so hard to eradicate our human addiction to single-use plastic. Well, not so fast. Big Plastic is at it again, this time spending millions of dollars to reverse the ban before it becomes law.
If taken by itself, California stands as the sixth largest economy in the world, with an equivalent GDP of $2.46 trillion, surpassing such nations as France, Italy and Brazil. As you can imagine, its population of 39 million people have the potential to consume a great deal of everything – including single-use plastic bags.
“The 2014 ban was certainly something to celebrate,” said Ruth Blakemore, CEO of the Plastic Oceans Foundation. “The statewide ban was a powerful statement and a major action toward protecting our oceans of single-use plastic. With over 840 miles of Pacific coastline, California was to serve as a major roadblock to plastic bags reaching our marine environments.”
The 2014 ban was indeed a major blow to the plastic bag industry. As such, they took action, spending over $3 million to put a referendum on the ballot, taking advantage of a provision in the state constitution that allows a statewide vote on a new law before it becomes effective. That referendum is Proposition 67. But there is more.
In order to confuse voters – who overwhelmingly support the ban – Big Plastic worked to have a second measure added to the voting slate, which is called Proposition 65. In 2014, in order to gain support for the ban from Grocers, a compromise was reached that allowed them to charge customers ten cents for paper bags, and to keep the money to cover their additional costs. Proposition 65 looks to redirect those fund into a new environment fund, which sounds great on the surface, but would detract the overall statewide ban.
Confusing? Yes, and that’s exactly what Big Plastic was hoping for. So what do you do if you are a California voter? Real simple…
Vote NO on 65 – Vote YES on 67
We call on all of our California-based supporters to get out there and vote on November 8. Help preserve the noble progressive ban of 2014, which in turn will help preserve our oceans and the health of the human food chain. We’ve seen major victories recently in the effort to ban single-use plastic items – most recently from France and the Seychelles. Let’s not lose that momentum. With your help, a wave of change is possible.
Photo of plastic sushi wrap courtesy of the Surfrider Foundation.