California votes YES on Prop 67 for a plastic-free ocean

Thanks to your support, California voters have passed Proposition 67, upholding the first-in-the-nation law to ban single-use carryout plastic bags statewide.

California’s bag ban would have gone into effect in July 2015—but instead, out-of-state plastic bag manufacturers forced it to a vote. The plastic bag industry pumped millions of dollars into their effort to defeat Prop 67, outspending supporters almost 2-to-1.

Aquarium California Ocean Policy Manager Letise LaFeir, at right, stumps for Prop 67 with our partners.

Fortunately, the majority of Californians voted YES for a plastic-free ocean. The state’s voters have also rejected Proposition 65—a deceptive measure placed on the ballot by the same plastic bag manufacturers who forced the referendum.

Finally, our state bag ban can kick into gear and serve as a model for the rest of the nation. The ban will go into immediate effect once the Secretary of State certifies the final election results in December.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium supported Prop 67 and opposed Prop 65. 

“This is a tremendous victory for California,” said Aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard. “We were pleased to stand in support of Proposition 67. Despite the millions of dollars that out-of-state plastic bag manufacturers spent to defeat the measure, Californians stood together and prevailed. Now, California can finally implement its first-in-the-nation law to reduce a source of plastic pollution—and protect our ocean, coast and marine wildlife.”

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who authored the bag ban legislation as a state senator in 2014, says the vote underscores California’s role as a model in environmental policy.

“By passing Proposition 67, California has once again demonstrated the environmental leadership that’s made our state a global model,” Padilla said. “Adopting a statewide ban in California will send a strong signal—and give a boost to efforts to eliminate single-use plastic carryout bags across the United States and around the world.”

This is an encouraging step, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. The Aquarium and our partners remain committed to reducing the sources of ocean plastic pollution, which poses serious threats to ocean health and communities worldwide. We’re working to keep up the momentum toward a plastic-free ocean.

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