Bag ban buoyed

Influential council is on board with regulations against plastic bags

San Francisco and Los Angeles have adopted strict ordinances designed to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic bags, but environmental advocates asking for a statewide ban may have made some headway last week.

Mike Chrisman, head of the California Ocean Protection Council, an influential panel, said he was on board with the steps necessary to address issues of marine debris. Plastic bags are extremely harmful to sea life, such as turtles, which mistake them for jellyfish. Worldwide, the Ocean Conservancy estimates that 1 million seabirds die each year due to plastic debris, reported the San Jose Mercury News.

Some of the anti-plastic-bag measures up for consideration in the Legislature include AB 2058, a bill requiring retailers to recycle 70 percent of the bags by 2011. Regulations aimed at curbing the amount of plastic in food packaging is another option under investigation.