SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Dozens of local college students have dedicated their Spring Break to crisscrossing the state of California stumping for your vote on a potential change to SB 270, the statewide plastic bag ban.
"I think the most important thing is people in my age group, 18-25, actually go out and vote," said Ellie Hollinshead, a student at the University California at Santa Barbara and campus CALPIRG coordinator. "I absolutely think it's a waste to spend two seconds or a couple of minutes using a plastic bag that's going to probably end up in the ocean."
"We're urging people to vote "yes" in November on the ban on plastic bags, to reduce bags going into our oceans," said Brian Trautwein, environmental analyst and watershed coordinator with the Environmental Defense Center.
The California Plastic Bag Ban Referendum will appear on the November 8 ballot. It is the plastics industry's attempt to overturn SB 270, the statewide ban on plastic bags. Just this week, Santa Barbara County broadened its ban on single-use plastic bags at larger grocery chains in the Goleta Valley and Orcutt areas.
"In almost every single creek in Santa Barbara that we clean, we remove at least 100 plastic bags that shouldn't be there," said Trautwein.
Local environmentalists claim plastic bags wash out into the ocean and end up in or tangled around some 260 different marine mammals and birds, killing most of them.
"It's an adjustment that people should be willing to make," said Hollinshead.
The American Progressive Bag Alliance wants you to vote "no" at the polls, arguing the ban targets a 100 percent recyclable product and charges consumers for other bag options.
Local environmentalists say, in the end, the plastics industry is expected to spend up to $50 million dollars between now and November to overturn SB 270.
"Obviously we have more people power than money power," said Hollinshead.