30 September, 2014
California took a historic step today as Governor Edmund (Jerry) Brown signed Senate Bill 270 into state law. The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE), commends Gov. Brown for his decision to sign a bill that marks a major victory for the health of our planet. SB 270 makes California the first state to ban single-use plastic bags, putting a halt to the 123,000 tons of plastic bags thrown out each year by Californians.
This achievement gre from California communities leading grassroots efforts to ban plastic bags in more than 125 cities across the state. The effectiveness of these local bans in reducing litter clean-up costs as well as retailer expenses inspired policy makers, and, led by the efforts of Sentaors Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), and Ricardo Lara (D-Huntington Park/Long Beach), the California legislature passed the plastic bag ban at the end of this year's legislative session. SB 270 further provides for 2 million dollars in loans and grants to help California manufacturers retrain workers and adapt to producing reusable bags.
"This bill is a step in the right direction – it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself," said Governor Brown. "We're the first to ban these bags, and we won't be the last."
"Today is a tremendous example of the potential our communities posses. We applaud Gov. Brown for signing a bill that not only steers California towards ecological stewardship, but also helps foster a better global community," said Christopher Chin, COARE's Executive Director. "This law sets a fantastic precedent for future plastic legislation, places utmost importance on preserving our oceans, and continues to express that our society has had enough of irresponsible plastic use."
As a part of the Clean Seas Coalition, COARE has worked with a number of organizations to create and support smart legislation such as the Los Angeles County bag ban, the San José ban, and now, SB 270. Through its "Enough with the plastic already!" campaign, COARE seeks to reduce the amount of oceanbound waste by helping people become more aware of how their habits affect the world around them. COARE raises public awareness of some very commonly overlooked sources of trash, and encourages people everywhere to examine their choices.
MEDIA CONTACT: Christopher Chin +1 510-495-7875 firstname.lastname@example.org