Petition Closed

El Dorado County, along with other municipalities statewide in California, spends more than $25 million each year to clean up plastic single-use bags from public places, storm drains, and in our waste stream. Local taxpayer dollars are also spent to comply with Stormwater Permit requirements and other standards in communities with “trash-impaired” waterways as defined under the federal Clean Water Act. The proposed ordinance would help lower cleanup costs in these tough economic times. Their manufacture, transportation and disposal use large quantities of non-renewable resources and release equally large amounts of global warming gases. Ecologically, hundreds of thousands of marine animals die every year when they mistake plastic bags for food.

Letter to
Chair, El Dorado County Board of Supervisors Supervisor Ron Briggs
Mayor of City of Placerville Wendy Mattson
Mayor of City of South Lake Tahoe Tom Davis
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Support a ban of plastic bags in El Dorado County

I am writing to urge you to introduce a proposed ordinance restricting the free distribution of single-use plastic and paper bags in El Dorado County. Californians use an estimated 12 billion plastic bags per year. Only three percent of these bags are actually recycled.

As a local taxpayer, I’m alarmed to find out that El Dorado County, along with other municipalities statewide, spends more than $25 million each year to clean up plastic single-use bags from public places, storm drains, and in our waste stream. Local taxpayer dollars are also spent to comply with Stormwater Permit requirements and other standards in communities with “trash-impaired” waterways as defined under the federal Clean Water Act. The proposed ordinance would help lower cleanup costs in these tough economic times.

In addition to the economic benefits of a plastic bag ban, there are countless environmental benefits. These include reduced use of natural resources for bag production, reduced wildlife fatalities from strangulation and suffocation, and improved water quality. For all intents and purposes, plastic never biodegrades; instead it slowly photo degrades. As it photo degrades, plastic film breaks into smaller and smaller pieces which attract surrounding toxins. When mistaken as a food source, these plastic particles form a progressively greater health risk of food chain contamination.

Banning the free distribution of bags is widely considered an appropriate and practical legislative action that can protect our environment and save financial resources. This approach is similar to other jurisdictions around the region and the state. Thus, I strongly urge you to move forward with the ban. It is a practical approach to addressing a profound problem.

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Sincerely,