Mar 20 - Sacramento City Council to Vote on Ban on Single-use Plastic Bags

The Sacramento City Council will review a proposed ordinance on Tuesday that would ban single-use plastic bags. The Sacramento Bee reports that "Mayor Kevin Johnson has indicated for months that he would push for the city to limit plastic bags if opponents qualified a referendum seeking to overturn a statewide ban approved last year by Gov. Jerry Brown." After out-of-state plastic companies spent over $3 million on paid signature gatherers to overturn SB 270, the Secretary of State announced last month that the referendum had qualified.


Californians Against Waste sponsored SB 270 and has worked with many of the 138 California cities and counties that have already passed local bans in an effort to reduce the 13 billion single-use plastic bags the state uses every year. CAW Executive Director Mark Murray told the Sacramento Bee "They blow out of trash cans and garbage trucks and even the landfill. They pollute our parks and rivers and threaten wildlife. And because they never biodegrade, they become a source of permanent litter."


Data from cities that have enacted local bans such as San Jose and San Francisco show that a ban could be particularly helpful in Sacramento, which stands at the confluence of two major rivers. San Jose reduced storm drain litter by 89 percent and similar results would help reduce local flooding potential for Sacramento. San Francisco has shown an 18 percent street litter reduction, which would help make a growing Sacramento attractive for potential new businesses and tourists.


After the City Council reviews the proposed ordinance on Tuesday, they are expected to schedule a vote on the ordinance as early as March 31. The ordinance would implement the ban on January 1, 2016.