Don’t let these two plastic bag propositions confuse you – even though that’s exactly what they were created to do. Let’s keep it simple: If you want to help the environment with a logical plastic-bag ban, vote “No” on Proposition 65 and “Yes” on Proposition 67.
The plastic-bag industry – primarily funded by four large, out-of-state companies – has pushed to get both of these separate and largely opposing measures on the ballot. That’s right, both.
Proposition 65 is a deceptive initiative that claims to help the environment. In reality, it is a distractor that would go further in punishing grocers than accomplishing any sort of health initiatives. Major environmental groups do not support it, and neither does this board.
Proposition 67 is a referendum on the statewide ban of plastic bags that was already signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014. That ban is now on hold and cannot be written in the books until voters say yes on this measure.
Californians should look past the mess of special-interest influence and do just that.
The facts on plastic-bag bans are clear: Banning plastic bags measures significantly reduce energy use and waste while also reducing litter that clutters beaches. Plastic grocery store bags are harmful to wildlife and consumers are slowly making the easy transition away from them.
Local bag bans already cover about 40 percent of the state’s population, including in Los Angeles, so it only makes sense to expand that statewide. Limiting usage with a statewide ban is logical and impactful, requiring simple changes to shopping habits.
On UCLA’s campus, the California Public Interest Research Group has been actively getting the word out about the benefits of Proposition 67. Those efforts are important and will remain meaningful when it’s time for voters to get to the polls and carefully navigate the maze that the plastic bag makers have set up.
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