Opinion: Vote ‘yes’ on California’s Prop 67 to ban plastic bags | SierraSun.com

Opinion: Vote ‘yes’ on California’s Prop 67 to ban plastic bags

In 2014, California's legislature banned disposable plastic shopping bags across the state because they are a major pollution source, which negatively affects the environment.

In addition to being awful for the environment, plastic pollution costs a considerable amount of money to dispose of. Unfortunately, after the law was passed, the American Progress Bag Alliance, or APBA, collected signatures to stop the law from continuing and, tragically, succeeded. Despite the fact that the law was already passed, we have to vote yes on Prop 67 in order to ban plastic bags once and for all.

The effects of plastic bags in the ocean are dangerous for marine species. Some animals have plastic bags in their stomachs, and, getting the feeling that they're full, starve. Sea turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, their favorite snack. Many birds even feed bits of plastic to their chicks, which gravely leads to fatal consequences.

Grey whales have been found dead with plastic bags in their stomachs. Entangled in the bags, turtles and sea birds either starve to death or drown. Many marine animals suffer from plastic pollution.

The cost of plastic bags is stupendous. Astonishingly, California pays about $25 million annually to dispose of roughly 14 billion used plastic bags. Trash litters the beaches. It's utterly unsightly and unappealing. Who likes that?

Because tourists don't want to go play at beaches that have plastic instead of sand, California could lose lots of money every year. The 150 million tourists who come to California give us lots of money. Our tourism industry would suffer if they stopped coming. California can't afford the colossal cost of plastic bags.

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It's clear that plastic bags are terrible in many ways. When plastic is in the ocean, it kills marine animals. Also, disposing of the bags is costly. Even though the APBA stopped us at first, we will be able to be the first state to ban plastic bags if we vote yes on Prop 67.

Kiely Rodni

7th-grade student, Truckee