FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Nov. 26, 2013
Contact: Sue Vang, 916-443-5422
Last night’s action by the Truckee Town Council to ban single-use plastic grocery bags signals an emerging trend amongst inland communities in California. Truckee is the first city in Nevada County to take such an action, but not the first in an inland county to do so. Both Davis and South Lake Tahoe, of Yolo and El Dorado Counties respectively, have adopted similar ordinances in recent weeks.
These actions are significant as none of the three communities are located on the coast. Over 80 coastal cities and counties have acted to reduce plastic bag pollution since San Francisco adopted the state’s first bag ordinance in 2007. It’s clear, however, that plastic bags have become a concern for inland communities, as well.
"Local governments are spending as much as $100 million each year cleaning up plastic bag litter," said CAW Policy Associate Sue Vang. "They can cause great harm to marine wildlife, but they also clog up storm drain systems and jam recycling machinery. These are problems that can impact communities statewide."
It’s estimated that more than 13 billion single-use plastic grocery bags were distributed in California last year—about 400 per second. Even bags distributed in inland cities can easily be picked up by the wind and deposited into the watershed, eventually making their way to the ocean.
"It’s clear that communities across California are taking the problem of plastic pollution seriously. All of these cities and counties should be congratulated for their willingness to act decisively."
Truckee is the 89th community covered under an ordinance aimed at curbing the economic and environmental costs of single-use plastic bags. Its ordinance bans single-use plastic bags at all retail stores, starting June 1, 2014.