Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ban the Bag Press Conference - Santa Monica 6/1/10

From left to right - Mark Gold, President of Heal the Bay - Gina Goodhill, Oceans Advocate for Environment California - Lisa Boyle, Environmental Lawyer and co-founder of the Plastic Pollution Coalition.

I went with Team Marine to the press conference this morning to support AB 1998 - CA Law to Ban Plastic Bags that is coming up for vote...NEXT FRIDAY. The press conferences - 5 in all - happening around the state this morning were organized by Environment California.

"With the Gulf spill still uncontained and the Pacific Garbage Patch bigger than ever, a new bill in CA could take real action to protect our oceans. Following the wave of local bans, AB 1998 (Brownley) a bill will be voted on in the Assembly by NEXT FRIDAY that would ban stores from giving away single-use plastic bags, helping to reduce the plastic trash in our ocean that winds up in the Pacific Garbage Patch." - Environment California

Eco Hero Kids from Malibu CA that sang for the press conference. See video below!

Every year in California we use 19 BILLION bags and 165,000 TONS of Styrofoam (enough bags to get to the moon 15 times). - The Ocean Conservancy

California taxpayers spend $25 million each year to clean up plastic bags that wind up in the waste stream – that money could be spent on school, firehouses, etc.

eco hero kids singing their song about plastic bags

"I can't go surfing at any beach in Southern California without snagging a plastic bag as I paddle.

I can't drive my car more than a city block with out seeing plastic bags billowing in the air or along the sidewalk.

I can't teach my Marine Biology students about life in the intertidal zone without plastic bags washing ashore or blowing into the water.

Beaches I've visited across the Pacific - Australia, Bali, Hawaii, Catalina, and LA - are strewn with single-use disposable plastic bags, bottle caps, cutlery, straws and miscellaneous objects including cigarette lighters and glow sticks.

It's easier for my students to collect abundance and biomass data on plastics than on biota!

I cringe at our wasteful practices and products and think to myself, "How in the heck did we get here?"

The solutions do not require rocket science - a reusable bag here, a ban there, and more education everywhere."

- Ben Kay, Marine Biologist and Teacher at Santa Monica High School,
Head Coach of Team Marine