california plastic bag bill

The Next Wave of Plastic Bag Bans

Posted Thu, Jun 7, 2012 by Ashley Blacow to california, california plastic bag bill, carmel-by-the-sea, leatherback sea turtles, pacific, plastic pollution

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Sea turtles often confuse plastic bags with jellyfish, which makes them sick.©Flickr/Bag Monster

In a sweeping 5-0 vote, the Carmel-by-the-Sea City Council took action yesterday evening to ban single-use plastic bags in the quaint and beautiful coastal city of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

Oceana, as part of the Central Coast Sanctuary Alliance of local businesses and conservation organizations, has been advocating to the Council for months to take action to rid this source of pollution in the area and today invite you to celebrate this victory with us. This rides on the heels of similar bans put in place by neighboring Monterey and dozens of other California cities and counties.

Several other cities around Monterey Bay are currently discussing banning single-use plastic bags as well. Oceana will continue the effort to eliminate these plastic bags across the Bay, ultimately moving toward the goal of a statewide ban.

California distributes 19 billion plastic bags per year, many which end up littering our beautiful rivers and beaches and causing undue harm to wildlife.


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A Future Without Plastic Bags?

Posted Fri, Jun 1, 2012 by Ashley Blacow to california, california plastic bag bill, leatherback sea turtle, plastic bag ban, pollution, reusable bags

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Plastic bag bans help make the ocean safer for animals like sea turtles. ©Oceana/Brianne Mecum

Ordinances to ban single-use plastic bags are picking up steam here in California. A growing list of cities and counties in the state are taking action to get rid of this frequent source of pollution, which trashes our beautiful rivers and beaches and causes undue harm to wildlife.

Did you know that 19 billion plastic grocery bags are distributed in California each year, many of which end up as litter?

When plastic enters marine waters, it continually breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces that absorb toxic chemicals. Chemical laden plastic pieces are then ingested by wildlife and enter the food chain that we depend upon. In addition, animals can inadvertently ingest or choke on plastic bags. Over 267 species of marine wildlife have been affected by plastic bag litter.

One species in particular is the endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle. The largest of all sea turtles, the leatherback swims an incredible 6,000 miles from its nesting beaches in Indonesia to California waters to feed on jellyfish. These prehistoric turtles easily mistake plastic bags swirling in the water for jellies and once ingested the turtles suffer dire consequences like malnutrition, starvation, intestinal blockage, suffocation, and drowning. One study found that one third of Pacific leatherbacks autopsied had plastic in their gastrointestinal tract.

Good thing we have alternatives to plastic bags like re-useable cloth bags, some of which you can even wash after a few visits to the grocery or department store. Re-useable bags also come in handy for other errands and outings like the local farmers market or an afternoon at the beach.

To date, 19 cities and 6 counties in California either have adopted or fully implemented plastic bag bans. Another 44 cities and 6 counties are in process of considering such a ban.  The California Supreme Court also recently ruled that expensive Environmental Impact Reports are not required for cities to implement these bans, making it much easier to take action.  This map shows cities and counties moving forward to ban plastic bags to date in California.  We're asking our Californian supporters to help us fill in the map and ask your local city council to consider banning single-use plastic bags in your area.

And whether or not your hometown has jumped on board with these bans, you can do your part to reduce plastic trash. Take a pledge today to use less plastic, and help keep the oceans a little cleaner.


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California Could Trash Plastic Bags for Good

Posted Fri, Jul 23, 2010 by Emily Fisher to adrian grenier, california plastic bag bill, marine debris, pacific garbage patch, plastic bags, plastic pollution, psa

Nothing we use for five minutes should pollute our oceans for 500 years.

That’s the message in a new PSA about the plastic bag bill that’s coming up for a vote this August in California. If it passes, California will be the first state with a state-wide ban on plastic bags.

Watch the video, which came to us from our friend Adrian Grenier and his website, SHFT.com, and let’s hope the bill passes.

 


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