San Diego Passes Plastic Bag Ban, Boosts Prop 67

by Steven Maviglio

V3rx3mwdThe San Diego Council City voted 6-3 today to become the 150th community in the state to ban single-use plastic bags from grocery stores and convenience stores, joining the state’s other major cities in enacting a ban.

“San Diego’s vote provides added momentum for Prop 67, which would protect the statewide ban signed by Governor Brown that the out-of- state plastics industry is challenging in November,” said Mark Murray of California vs. Big Plastic, the group leading the effort to uphold the state law. “This puts more wind in our sails in our effort heading into November.”

San Diego becomes the 17th community to enact a plastic bag ban despite the challenge from the plastic bag industry. Sacramento County, Santa Barbara County, and Del Mar are among the communities that have added bans in the past year.

The citywide ban, which will take effect in early 2017, was first introduced in 2015 and garnered wide upport from business, ocean advocates and other coastal supporters, including from a group of school children who testified in front of the city council about the negative effects of plastic in the environment.

More than 45 percent of the state’s population is now covered by a local plastic bag ban. However, it is estimated that the rest of the state’s population not living under a plastic bag ban will go through eight billion plastic bags every year, many of which end up polluting the environment and killing marine life.

The citywide ban bolsters Southern California support for Proposition 67. If a majority of voters in November vote yes on proposition 67, upholding the state law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014, a statewide ban will go into effect immediately. Proposition 67 is being challenged by plastic bag manufacturers, and it will be the last item on the ballot. A YES vote will uphold the law. Independent polling shows the plastic bag ban is supported by a nearly 2-1 among the state’s registered
voters.