California Plastic Bag Ban Still Up for Debate

Environmental activists met in Mira Mesa to discuss plans for a plastic bag ban in California last week, but as U-T San Diego columnist Matthew Hall comments, "Unlike windblown bags everywhere, the plans didn't go very far." According to the article published today by Hall, a simiar attempt at a ban failed in 2010, but he has confidence that this time, the ban will pass. Writes Hall,

“I hope it happens now,” Marisa Espinoza, the San Diego Surfrider chapter’s plastics campaign coordinator, said before Tuesday’s meeting in Mira Mesa. “I hope we’ll be celebrating for sure, and then we’ll move onto water bottles and straws and something else.”

The problem with the activists’ strategy? It overlooked seven specific votes — the seven members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego.

The bill didn’t make it out of Kehoe’s committee Thursday. It was held under consideration, which in plain English means it won’t advance any further. Supporters still hold out hope, but two appropriations committee staffers told me it’s essentially the end of the line for this legislative session. Another proposal could come next year.

Supporters say a ban seems inevitable, and I agree. I’d even say it’s in the bag. Setting aside partisan politics, the question for me isn’t “Why?” so much as “When?”

The article discusses in depth the politics surrounding California's history with a plastic bag ban, and ends on a hopeful note, predicting that debate will continue and hopefully win out. For more information, please see the full article on U-T San Diego's website here.

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