Ban the Bag!
Urge your State Senator to support AB 298 and ban wasteful single-use plastic bags
Named by Guinness World Records as "the most ubiquitous consumer item in the world," single-use plastic bags are a leading source of pollution worldwide, including in California. Once plastic bags and other plastic trash leave our shores, they collect in the ocean. The famous Pacific Garbage Patch is increasing in size and density daily and is now twice the size of Texas. According to some estimates more than 1 million seabirds, 100,000 marine mammals, and countless fish die annually in the north Pacific from ingesting or becoming entangled in marine debris that includes plastic bags. Plastic bags also pollute during the production process.
AB 298 addresses the problem of plastic bag waste in California by:
- prohibiting all supermarkets, retail pharmacies and convenience stores from distributing single-use plastic carryout bags to their customers at point of sale (excluding bags used to carry bulk items, produce, or raw meat);
- requiring stores to collect and recycle existing plastic bags;
- authorizing stores to make reusable and paper bags available for purchase.
This action is no longer active. To view the current list of our active campaigns click here
AB 298 will also benefit California’s economy. The state currently spends about $25 million annually to collect and bury the 12 billion plastic bags used every year. Local agencies spend millions more to clean up and dispose of plastic bags. Consumers also pay for the price of bags embedded in food costs. Moreover, companies creating reusable bags have created a thriving and sustainable California-based industry.
The last time California had the opportunity to ban the bag, in 2010, the American Chemistry Council and other plastic bag manufacturers spent millions on lobbying, media advertising and contributions to state legislators. It's time for California lawmakers to stand up to industry pressure and do the right thing for our environment and our communities.
AB 298 is the logical extension of what many cities have already done on their own. Over 45 municipalities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Malibu, Fairfax, and Palo Alto have banned plastic bags along with countries like China, and parts of Mexico, Europe, Africa, and Australia. AB 298 will create one uniform state policy for addressing all types of single-use bags to encourage consumers to use reusable bags.