07 Nov Plastics in our Environment? Get a Reusable Bag Free!
Turtle ingesting a plastic bag. Photo: Melbourne Zoo
This holiday season, help the Los Angeles River and our oceans by giving the gift of reusable bags!
It is estimated that Los Angeles County alone goes through 6 billion plastic bags per year and costs our financially strained cities .17c per bag for disposal, which does not include environmental costs. While some plastic bags are being recycled, the unfortunate truth is that most are ending up in our environment – they travel from our neighborhoods, down our rivers, and out to our ocean. Recycling in addition to river and beach clean ups are no the whole solution to the blight of single use plastics in our environment.
The Algalita Marine Research Institute first began studying plastic debris floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in 1999. Since then, they have discovered this patch of plastic is nearly the size of Texas and 80% of the plastic debris collected was from land based sources – watershed. For more video on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch click HERE.
To date, the cities of San Francisco and Oakland have successfully implemented bans on single use plastic bags in grocery stores and pharmacies, and the City of LA has passed a motion to ban plastic bags by 2010 if the State enacts legislation to impose a fee on plastic bag use. The California State Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Natural Resources is currently working hard to pass AB 68 Brownley Single-Use Bag Reduction Act to reduce the impact of single use bags on our environment. To find out how you can support this bill, please visit the Heal the Bay website.
Individuals can also do their part! Through December 17th you can pick up a reusable shopping bag by simply bringing 5 single use plastic bags for recycling and exchange them for a free “Brag About Your Bag” reusable shopping bag. For a list of participating stores and dates visit the Brag About Your Bag website. You can also purchase these excellent stocking stuffers from the following retailers:
FoLAR canvas tote: http://www.cafepress.com/FoLAR
4 in 1 Earthwise Reusable Bags: http://www.earthwisebags.com
Chico Bags: http://www.chicobag.com