The California Senate voted to pass a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags late Friday night. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.
The Senate voted 22-15 on SB 270. The bill will phase out the plastic bags in grocery stores and pharmacies starting July 2015, and then in convenience stores 1 year later.
The goal of the ban of plastic bags is to decrease the state’s impact on the environment.
“This important step forward shows that we can achieve lasting victories for ocean and environmental health,” said Nathan Weaver, Oceans Advocate with Environment California. “Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute our ocean for hundreds of years.”
A study, by Nicholas Mrosovsky, examined 370 leatherback sea turtle autopsies and found that 1 in 3 had plastic in their stomach.
More than 120 Californian local governments have already banned single-use plastic bags, including Davis, South Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles, Oakland, Long Beach, and San Jose.
The measure was authored by Senators Alex Padilla, Kevin de León, and Ricardo Lara.