In a disappointing turn of events on the very last day of August's legislative season, the California Senate failed to pass the most important environmental bill of the year, AB 1998, the ban on single-use plastic bags. The bill would have created a uniform policy for the state and remove the need for local municipalities to work on their own separate bans.
The importance of pushing local bans on plastic bag bans and polystyrene take out containers just increased tenfold. Local bans are popping up all over our nation and around the world, and will continue to spread like wildfire.
Both the County of Santa Cruz and City of Santa Cruz have both approved the 'Single Use Bag Reduction Ordinance,' which is waiting for the Environmental Report to be completed before this ordinance goes into effect.
Next up, Save Our Shores is going to put the pressure on the Cities of Capitola, Scotts Valley, and Watsonville to pass their own city-wide bans. Once that happens, Santa Cruz County will likely reduce its plastic bag use by 80% or more.
It gets a little confusing sometimes. In Santa Cruz County, as in all counties, a county-wide law only goes into effect for the unincorporated areas of the county (so not the cities) since the cities within the county have their own governing bodies, and laws. So, for all of Santa Cruz County to have a bag ban in full effect, we need the other three cities to approve the ordinance separately.
In Monterey County, where a plastic bag ban is not yet on the table (don't worry, it will be placed on the table very soon!), Save Our Shores is working on getting the last of the polystyrene bans passed that will create a completely polystyrene-free Monterey County.
Monterey County, as well as the Cities of Monterey, Carmel, Seaside, Pacific Grove, and Del Rey Oaks have each already passed their own bans on polystyrene take out containers (otherwise known as sytrofoam).
Now is the time for citizens to create change in their own communities. Join us in our fight to rid our communities, waterways, and oceans of these useless pieces of pollution!
See below for more on AB 1998, which was introduced to the California Assembly by Assemblywoman Brownley and went on to foster more attention and support than any other bill this year. Read more on AB 1998...