Based on yesterday's election results, the California bag ban has passed its referendum vote. With the landmark passage of Proposition 67, single-use plastic shopping bags are banned in California! Based on reporting from all precincts, the California electorate has upheld the nation’s first statewide plastic bag ban with the California law. Despite the political maneuvering of out-of-state big plastic companies to put the issue on the ballot and then the expenditure of over $6 million in campaign funds by the plastics industry, voters triumphed over plastic pollution in deciding to keep the bag ban that was originally passed as a state law in 2014 by the California legislature.
The law will go into effect immediately after all ballots are confirmed. This form of bag ban legislation has been proven to work effectively through local level laws that demonstrate a reduction in plastic pollution and a decrease in the amount of plastic litter in our communities as a result. The law will also protect marine ecosystems and the foodchain. This is a major victory for the health of our environment, protection of marine life and battle against plastic pollution. Additionally, the second initiative that was put on the ballot by the plastics industry as an effort to confuse the voting public and muddy the issue, Prop 65, failed to pass by a wide margin.
Surfrider Foundation would like to thank all of our incredible activists and California chapters from Humboldt to San Diego who have worked on this critical issue, as well as our coalition partners, including Heal the Bay, Environment California, 5Gyres, NRDC, Californians Against Waste, Clean Water Action, Coastkeeper, WildCoast, and many others. Without a strong network and coordinated effort, this monumental victory would not have been possible. Thankfully, this statewide victory will help reverse the trend of single-use plastic pollution and help set the tone for the rest of the nation.