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Group Wants Statewide Ban on Plastic Bags

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Aired 4/19/09

Cleaning Ocean Beach:  Dan Jacobson with Environment California, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi and Angela Howe of the Surfrider Foundation (left to right) pick up litter near the OB pier Friday morning. (Photo: Ed Joyce/KPBS)

Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi says a detailed report on trash in the ocean is on the right track to toughen state laws to clean-up the state's waterways and beaches. Garamendi was in San Diego this morning to promote a ban on plastic bags. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce has more.

Garamendi says state laws are needed to keep plastic bags, styrofoam containers and other material from polluting the ocean and state beaches.

It's estimated that plastic makes up more than 60 percent of marine trash.

Garamendi says a report from the Ocean Protection Council is an excellent guideline for new state laws to reduce that pollution.
Garamendi: And it sets out clear policy directions for the state of California to reduce and eliminate marine debris - trash on the beaches, trash in the ocean. And reduce the harm to fish, wildlife species and humans.
The report recommends a ban on single-use plastic grocery bags and polystyrene food containers.

Seabirds, mammals and other marine wildlife are killed each year from ingesting or becoming entangled in trash.

Much of the proposed state legislation aimed at reducing marine trash failed to win approval during the last legislative session.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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