New California prop bans single use plastic bags


Heal the Bay

Plastic Bag Ban Rally, City of Los Angeles

Lilly Durante

Marin County has taken strides to become a more environmentally friendly community, and the rest of California has recently followed.

Effective Jan. 1, 2012 Marin County ordinance banned single use plastic bags, following San Francisco County who banned plastic bags in 2007. Now, residents rarely receive a plastic bag with their purchases and must pay extra for a paper one.

In addition to the plastic bag ban, our community helped to restrict the use of plastic straws in certain shops and restaurants in Fairfax and San Anselmo, by virtue of Global Student Embassy Club (GSE) actions.

The rest of California caught onto this step towards becoming more green in the recent election with the passing of Prop 67, also known as the California Plastic Bag Ban Veto Referendum, which passed by only five percent more of voters in favor of the issue. This measure was designed to stop large grocery stores, pharmacies, and chain markets from providing each customer with a single use plastic bag with their purchase.

Not only does the passing of Prop 67 make for a more environmentally healthy California, but it also raises awareness among its citizens.

“I think that urging people to use eco-friendly bags, and banning the use of single use plastic bags has been really beneficial. It makes us more aware,” senior Malia Potter said.

According to Ballotpedia, plastic bags were a large market for stores statewide, so the government decided to provide $2 million to California plastic bag manufactuers to aid them in the process of maintaining jobs. In addition, these companies plan to transition into the production of eco-friendly, reusable bags.

The San Anselmo and Fairfax communities have already begun the promotion of an environmentally friendly society through a ban on plastic straws in local businesses. GSE Club worked hard on this project.

“The Straw Project was a really cool project to work on because I knew I was having a direct impact on my community and the environment. It was great to connect with local businesses and have them be super positive about our project and want to participate,” GSE member Maddy Cox said.

The club worked to ban plastic straws at 14 different businesses in the area, including Cucina, Taco Jane’s, L’Appart Resto, M.H. Bread and Butter, Insalata’s, Mi Pueblo, Valenti & Co., Bistro 330, Pizzalina, Comforts, Mana Bowls, Hummingbird Cafe, Taste, and Coffee Roasters.