Assembly Bill 1998 will reduce dangerous plastic bag litter pollution by banning plastic bags at large retail outlets and charging a 25 cent “green bag fee” for any paper bag purchases. The money from the fee will go to the Paper Bag Pollution Clean Up Fund, which provides for reusable bag giveaway programs.

Plastic bags are a primary component of ocean litter. Over one million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year from ingestion or entanglement in plastics. This is why on World Oceans Day 2009, the Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme called for an outright ban on thin-film plastic bags worldwide. The plastic litter problem is also costing our state tens of millions of dollars in litter clean up and abatement costs each year.

To read more in a OpEd from Assemblymember Julia Brownley and Enviroment California, click here.