That’s #MyBag, Baby! A Reminder to Reuse

July 1, 2015 — Sarah Sikich, Heal the Bay’s vice president, commemorates what would have been a historic day for California by rallying shoppers to shun the plastic bag and show off their reusable bags.

The plastic bag war has not been won. Yet.

California’s historic ban on single-use plastic bags would have gone into effect today. Instead, hordes of plastics industry representatives swarmed our state over the past year in an effort to undo this landmark law.

Flashback to September 2014, when Governor Brown signed SB 270 into law, enacting the nation’s first comprehensive single-use bag law. The twofold measure would ban plastic bag distribution at grocery stores, pharmacies and other retailers, while requiring a minimum charge for paper bags. We were excited for California to become the first state in the nation to make shopping more sustainable by incentivizing reusable bags. But while the Governor’s signature was still drying on the bag ban, Big Plastic spent over $3 million on a signature-gathering campaign that ended up putting the ban on hold until November 2016. But we’re moving forward anyway, and we need your help.

In the absence of a statewide bag law, we are urging everyone to go reusable and show off your green cred. Join our #MyBag social media campaign by posting a selfie showing off your eco-chic reusable bags. Post your sustainable selfie to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and include a short statement about why you support California’s plastic bag ban. Don’t forget to tag #MyBag or #MiBolsa to spread the word!

#MyBag Heal the Bay Employees
While you are busy sharing your green shopping experience, local governments continue to take a stand against plastic pollution. Since 2007, 137 California cities and counties have adopted bans on single-use plastic bags, curbing costly and unsightly plastic bag pollution. The City of Los Angeles alone spends an estimated $36 million each year on litter clean-up and abatement, of which a large amount is plastic bags. Here in the L.A. area, Hermosa Beach is the next community poised to ban the bag.

Californians use over 13 billion single-use plastic bags every year. The average shopper uses 500 single-use bags each year. Your vote and your actions count. Implementation of California’s landmark bag ban may have been delayed, but it’s not derailed. Post your #MyBag selfie, spread the word, talk with your friends.

Together, we can end the plastic bag plague once and for all.