Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Plastic Bag Bans: Why I am Voting No On Prop 65 And Yes On Prop. 67

Award Winning Local High School Environmental Teacher Benjamin Kay, Explains why 65≠67


November 5, 2016

Cleaning bags off Santa Monica Beach

I am voting NO on 65 and YES on 67.

If passed, Prop 65 will require the mandated fee (minimum of 10 cents per law) charged to customers for alternative bags (recycled paper, compostable, or reusable) to be deposited into the "Environmental Protection and Enhancement Fund" (EPE Fund) to be established in the State Treasury and administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board.

The sole purpose of Prop 65 is to confuse voters. It would only serve the interests of plastic bag companies and would distract from phasing out plastic bags entirely.

The same out-of-state plastic bag companies that qualified the referendum (Prop 67) are seeking to confuse voters with this measure by fueling the tired paper vs. plastic debate. The real issue is reducing the overall use of single-use bags – be they paper or plastic. If Prop 65 passes it could delay implementation of the bag ban law due to litigation over conflicting measures. Moreover, the fee could become irrelevant as more people start bringing reusable bags instead of buying alternatives.

Plastic bags in Kenter Storm Drain, 2014

As for Prop 67, a little background: In 2014, CA legislators passed a law (SB 270) to ban single-use carryout plastic bags in grocery and other retail stores. This is the FIRST statewide ban in the U.S., and an opportunity to lead the nation. This is a success and we don't want to take steps backwards. Out-of-state plastic bag manufacturers blocked implementation of the law and forced it to a public vote, spending three million dollars. Proposition 67 is a referendum that requires voters to affirm, "Yes, we support the actions of the State Legislature and the Governor, who passed and signed into law a statewide ban on single-use carryout plastic bags at grocery stores and other retail stores."

Doing so would help reduce the serious impacts that ocean plastic pollution has on wildlife, food webs and ultimately on human health. It would also reduce tax dollars spent on cleaning up plastic bag litter.

To date, more than 150 California cities and counties have adopted local bag bans – but it is important for residents across the state to vote Yes on Proposition 67 so the statewide ban can be implemented throughout California. Many environmental groups, California grocers, state officials, philanthropists, and others are committed to the ban and working hard for a Yes on Proposition 67.


Reader Comments

dragonping writes:

Say no to the bag ban scam. People can still use the banned bag. The store will even sell you a thicker plastic bag. Nothing goes to pick up liteer, not even the fee. When a proposition is put in to make the fee go to clean up, the same people say it should go to the store. Follow the money. This is for profit, not the environment.


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