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OPINION

Proposition 67: One Year Later

BLOG: Replacing single-use plastic bags with reuseables has been an overwhelming environmental success in California

Gwen Langi | Opinion Writer

February 12, 2018


Around this time last year, California voted “Yes” on Proposition 67. The Proposition entailed replacing the single use plastic bags for recycled and reusable ones, both at a fee of ten cents.

It’s been a year since the Proposition took action and outcome shows that California made the right decision.

Data collected from this year’s Coastal Cleanup Day shows drastic changes caused by Prop 67. According to LA Times, “Plastic bags (both the banned and the legal variety) accounted for 3.1% of the litter collected from the state’s beaches during the 2017 Coastal Cleanup Day, down from 7.4% in 2010.”

Improvement could continue if California continues to encourage recyclable paper and plastic bags.

The ban on plastic bags also makes changes to potential health risks.

LA Times also reports, “There’s evidence that microplastics are creeping into our own food chain; it can contain toxins like Bisphenol A, an endocrine disrupter.” Researchers found that Bisphenol A has the ability to affect egg maturation, leading to stunted puberty. Eventually, the synthetic compound can result in infertility.

“Plastic bags (both the banned and the legal variety) accounted for 3.1% of the litter collected from the state’s beaches during the 2017 Coastal Cleanup Day, down from to 7.4% in 2010.” – LA Times

Although California has won its battle with Prop 67, there’s no guarantee that Californians are safe from health hazards caused by plastic.

Polystyrene is a non-recyclable plastic in which the California Legislature failed to pass a ban on. Foam cups and plastic food containers alike contain polystyrene. BusinessBarbados.com reveals the dangers of the consumption of polystyrene. “Styrene primarily exhibits its toxicity to humans as a neurotoxin by attacking the central and peripheral nervous systems. The accumulation of these highly lipid-soluble (fat-soluble) materials in the lipid-rich tissues of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves is correlated with acute or chronic functional impairment of the nervous system.”

California still has a long way to go in their journey of improving the environment, but thanks to Proposition 67 California has made some progress.


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Gwen Langi is currently an Opinion Writer for The Mirror and in her first year.

She is a freshman and hopes to continue writing for The Mirror throughout the rest of high school. Her articles are typically about her opinion on recent debatable topics in the world. Her hobbies include watching the Food Network and going out with friends.


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Proposition 67