Bill not in the bag

Measure to ban single-use bags in California falters in Senate

The State Senate failed to act on Assembly Bill 298, which would have banned single-use plastic bags statewide, during the final days of its legislative session.

Environmentalists have long maintained such a ban would be a big move in protecting the Pacific Ocean from plastic pollution, according to Single-use plastic bags affect 267 marine species every year, including the Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle, which often mistakes plastic bags for jellyfish, its favorite food.

More than 50 cities or counties in California have voted to ban single-use plastic bags over the last two years, accounting for nearly one-third of the state’s population.

“Nothing that we use for a few minutes should pollute the ocean for hundreds of years,” said Dan Jacobson, legislative director for Environment California. “Californians understand this and are taking action in their communities to protect the Pacific.”