The Washington Post is looking at how plastic bag companies in Texas and South Carolina are bullying U.S. states and cities into continuing to use over 100 billion single-use plastic bags a year, despite the fact that they never biodegrade and are contributing to the killing of one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles annually, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
The Post article takes a look at the coastal community of Tybee Island in Georgia. The small community is trying to ban the flimsy bags, which blow around and litter their tourist friendly beaches. So Big Plastic went to the Georgia state legislature for help.
"SB 139, which passed 32-19 Thursday, wouldn’t just outlaw local bans on plastic bags," the article explains. "It would bar cities from regulating 'auxiliary containers' at all, which include bags, takeout containers and throwaway cups. They could not tax these products; they could not impose fees; they could not tell people how to use them. Only the state would be able to pass laws regulating these objects."
"Our economy is based on a beachfront community," said Bill Garbett, who sits on the Tybee Island council. "We have sea turtles nesting on the beach. They easily confuse plastic bags with jellyfish. It’s up close and personal to us."
Meanwhile, in California, "The American Progressive Bag Alliance, which is supported by major plastics manufacturers, spent over $3 million on consultants and a petition management company between October and December, when it was collecting signatures. The group told the San Francisco Chronicle that plastic bags, like those handed out by restaurants and stores, are a $100 million- to $150 million-a-year business in California. That’s well worth the $3 million investment, Chronicle columnists Phil Matier and Andy Ross noted."
Join CA vs. Big Plastic to fight the American Progressive Bag Alliance's Referendum and show every state and country that California's statewide bag ban is here to stay.