Members of Heal the Bay, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the coastal waters of Greater Los Angeles clean, took to the streets of LA Thursday in an effort to campaign for a "yes" vote on Proposition 67.
Their effort included the usual signs and hand outs typical of political canvassing. However, it also featured a woman dressed as the infamous "Plastic Bag Monster." Meredith McCarthy, the director of programs for Heal the Bay, sported 400 plastic bags on her body, representing the number of plastic bags the average Californian uses every year.
Proposition 67, also known as the California Plastic Bag Ban Veto Referendum, will be on the Nov. 8 ballot. If approved by California voters, Proposition 67 would ratify Senate Bill 270, which prohibits grocery stores and pharmacies from providing single-use plastic bags. Paper bags would still be available for 10 cents.
The negative environmental effects of plastic bags, according to Heal the Bay, are astounding. "A plastic bag that you use for 12 minutes, on average, stays in our environment for hundreds of years," said Nancy Shrodes, Education and Outreach Manager for Heal the Bay. "Sometimes the hardest part is that first change in habit," she added, while talking about making the switch from plastic to reusable bags.
In order to reverse environmental damage and keep our waters clean, McCarthy said that "we need to move past single-use material."
The American Progressive Bag Alliance is the main opposition to Proposition 67. Calling the ban on plastic bags "misguided," the APBA was the main driver that brought the Veto Referendum to the ballot.
Despite a strong opposition, supporters of the plastic bag ban are hopeful that Proposition 67 will pass. Heal the Bay feels that their demonstration was successful. Shrodes said it "was very well received."
Staff Reporter Kristen Lago also contributed to this report.