Plastic Pollution, Bag Bans
May 18 2011

Keep It Up California!

by Bill Hickman

Plastic Bag Outside of Council ChambersOn Tuesday May 17th the Long Beach City Council voted 5-0 to pass a carryout bag ordinance that would affect supermarkets, large pharmacies, farmers markets and retailers within city limits.  After the State of California failed to pass AB 1998 last year, a statewide ordinance banning single-use plastic bags and putting a fee on paper bags, Los Angeles County stepped up with a bag ordinance and now cities are lining up for their own individual ordinances.  Thus far, seven separate municipalities in California have passed bag bans in the past six months.  When the state fails to act on an important issue like this it forces local governments to act in a piecemeal fashion to help protect the environment from plastic pollution.

Plastic carryout bags will be banned in Long Beach effective August 1st, and there will be ten cent fee placed on paper bags that goes to the retailer to help with their cost of paper bags and education for the best alternative, reusable bags.  Surfrider Foundation encourages everyone to remember their reusable bags when shopping and hopes that ordinances also lead to more reusable bag manufacturers in California providing green jobs.

Meanwhile, SB 568 to ban styrofoam at restaurants sits in the state senate and ready for a floor vote.  Surfrider is mainly concerned with the impact of styrofoam on the marine environment but there are also health impacts to consider when eating or drinking something hot from styrofoam.  Click Here for an online action alert we set up and if you live in any of these districts please contact your state senator to say 'I support SB 568 to ban styrofoam at restaurants":

  • Blakeslee Sacto: 916-651-4015 (SLO, Psimo Beach, Morro Bay). 
  • Calderon Sacto:  916-651-4030 (BellBell GardensCommerceCudahyEast La MiradaHuntington ParkLa MiradaMontebello,NorwalkPico RiveraSanta Fe SpringsWhittier, and South El Monte.  The district also includes parts of East Los AngelesLos Angeles and South Gate, and the communities of Florence-Graham and Hacienda Heights.)
  • DeSaulnier 916-651-4007 Sacto (Antioch, Brentwood, Clayton, Concord, Danville, El Cerrito, Hercules, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, a portion of Richmond, Oakley, Orinda, Pinole, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, San Ramon, Walnut Creek)
  • Hernandez 916-651-4024 (City of Los Angeles to the Eastern San Gabriel Valley, including East Los Angeles, El Sereno, Lincoln Heights, City Terrace, Montecito Heights, Monterey Park, South San Gabriel, Rosemead, El Monte, Duarte, Irwindale, Baldwin Park, Industry, Avocado Heights, La Puente, Hacienda Heights, Valinda, West Covina,  Vincent, Azusa, Citrus, Covina, and Rowland Heights)
  •  McCleod 916-651-4032 (Colton, Fontana, Montclair, Ontario, Rialto and San Bernardino including the unincorporated communities of Bloomington and Muscoy in San Bernardino County; and portions of Chino and the entire City of Pomona)
  • Price 916-651-4026 (Baldwin Hills, Baldwin Vista, Beverlywood, Carthay Circle, Century City, the Crenshaw District, Culver City, Hancock Park, Hollywood, Hyde Park, Jefferson Park, Ladera Heights, Lafayette Square, Larchmont, Leimert Park, Los Feliz, Miracle Mile, South Central Los Angeles, View Park, West Los Angeles and Windsor Hills)
  • Vargas 916-651-4040 (County of Imperial County and Cities within it, Riverside County and Cities within it, Chula Vista, Coronado, San Diego County, Imperial Beach, San Diego City, National City)
  • Wright 916-651-4025 (Alondra Park, Athens, Compton, Gardena, Florence-Graham, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Ladera Heights, Lawndale, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes Peninsula, San Pedro, Watts, Westchester, Westmont, and Willowbrook)
  • Strickland 916-651- 4019 (City of Santa Barbara, Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, Isla Vista, Lompoc, Los Alamos, Mission Canyon, Mission Hills, Montecito, Orcutt, Santa Ynez, Solvang, Summerland, Toro Canyon, Vandenberg AFB, and Vandenberg Village, the City of Ventura, Camarillo, Casa Conejo, El Rio, Meiners Oaks, Mira Monte, Moorpark, Oak Park, Ojai, Simi Valley, and Thousand Oaks

Do you know of any restaurants that would like to sign on in support?  It's easy, just have them send a short email stating "Our restaurant supports SB 568" and include the Restaurant name and address along with Owner or Manager's name authorizing support.  Send it to:

Thanks for your support!

Kids Support SB 568!