Students visited the Pacific Beach boardwalk near Grand Avenue on March 25 to deliver a message: “Students care about California and care about our oceans.We shouldn’t let something we use for a few minutes pollute our environment for decades. That’s why we need to save the bag ban.”
“To do that, we are going to register tens of thousands of voters, make hundreds of announcements in classrooms, and do an alternative spring break traveling the state to build support for a yes vote in November,” said Antonio Camaraza, grassroots coordinator of CALPIRG’s Bag Ban Campaign and sophomore at UC San Diego.
According to Californians Against Waste, the problem is that millions of bags pollute the oceans every year. The bags do not biodegrade but instead break into small pieces and fish, whales, and sea turtles mistake the plastic pollution for food and get sick when they eat it.
“As young people, we care a lot about the environment and protecting our oceans. Experts from the World Economic Forum have warned that we are on track to have more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050. We won’t stand for that,” Camaraza said.
147 cities and counties have already passed local bag bans and Gov. Brown signed into law a statewide ban on single use plastic bags, SB-270 written by Sens. Padilla, DeLeon, and Lara in 2014. Soon after signing the bill into law, several plastics companies poured millions into a campaign fund to repeal the ban. The ballot measure put the statewide law on hold until the voters decide in November.
The students who attended the event used the day to also gain support from members of the Assembly, meeting with several of the original supporters and asking for their support on this campaign.