In an opinion piece set for publication in the San Jose Mercury News, State Senator Kevin De Leon announces his commitment to a statewide policy for phasing out single-use plastic grocery bags.
"Next year, I'm committed to bag single-use plastic grocery bags, but we won't do it by throwing hundreds of California workers and their families under the bus. We'll do it in a smarter way that reduces waste and protects the environment, but helps protect workers at the same time."
In 2011, then Assembly Member De Leon supported legislation to phase out plastic bags. However, earlier this year, Senator De Leon withheld his support for SB 405 (Padilla), arguing that the measure failed to protect jobs at the state’s two remaining plastic bag manufacturing facilities (one of which is located in Senator De Leon’s Los Angeles County District).
In May, SB 405 fell 3 votes short of passage in the State Senate. Over the last several months, Californians Against Waste has been working with Senator De Leon and other members of the State Senate (including a Republican!) on a proposal aimed at phasing out single-use plastic grocery bags, while also increasing markets and California jobs in recycled plastic manufacturing.