California’s first-in-the-nation plastic bag ban works
Preliminary results are in on California’s grand experiment to reduce plastic bag litter along its majestic coastline and streams.
Take a bow, California voters. It’s working.
The early litter data from the Coastal Clean-up Day, held annually in September, shows that plastic bag litter had dropped by 72 percent when compared to 2010. Plastic bags now account for less than 1.5 percent of all litter, compared to nearly 10 percent in 2010.
In Alameda County, officials reported finding 433 plastic bags, compared to 4,357 in 2010. Monterey County reported even better news, with volunteers discovering only 43 plastic bags while performing their clean-up efforts, compared to 2,494 in 2010.
“We are seeing a substantial decline in plastic grocery bags litter on beaches, rivers and parkways,” said John Laird, California’s Secretary for Natural Resources and a former Santa Cruz mayor and legislator.
California voters did their homework in 2016 when they went to the polls and voted yes on Proposition 67, upholding the state Legislature’s 2014 first-in-the-nation plastic bag ban.