Last Tuesday the city of Santa Cruz became the 50th city to live plastic bag free.
I am really excited about local bans for 3 reasons:
1- we are reducing the amount of plastic flowing into the ocean. The pollution in the ocean is horrible and the worst part is we may never be able to clean it up. As my mother told me the first thing to do when your bathtub is overflowing is turn off the tap. These local bans are a great way to reduce pollution at the source.
2- the patch quilt of policies that have been created are making a great case for the state legislature to ban plastic bags statewide. We all know the chemical and oil industry (the people who make plastic bags) have a powerful lobbying presence in Sacramento. But the great news is they don’t have a lot of power in the city halls around the state. They are threatening law suits, but that is not working (so far). Local bans are working.
3- We should be so inspired to see local activists fighting and winning to protect our environment. All these votes are a testament that people really care about the environment and are fighting to protect it.
Bottom line- The state legislature has 50 days to pass a statewide bill to ban plastic bags. Let’s hope they do so.
Senior Advisor, Environment California
Dan provides campaign strategy and policy guidance for Environment California's program and organizational plans. Prior to his current role, he worked as the state director of Environment California and the organizing director of Florida PIRG, among other roles. The Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT) named Dan a Clean Power Champion in 2019, and Capitol Weekly named him one of the “Top 100 Lobbyists” in California in 2008. Dan's areas of expertise include renewable energy, electric vehicles and ocean pollution, and he has successfully advocated for the passage of dozens of bills into law, including measures to ban toxic chemicals, bring 1 million solar roofs to California, and ban single-use plastic grocery bags. He ran the campaign for SB 100, California’s law setting a goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2045.