Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 125 - June 4, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
1.7 pounds /2 = .8 for the COMMUNITY COUNT COLLECTION - DEAN MIYA
492.3 pounds total
213.4 pounds for COMMUNITY COUNT COLLECTION in 31 days
Dean Miya came out with me tonight for Day 125. Dean found my blog online, read it, and realized that I collected right where he surfed most often and so he contacted me. Not only did he come out to be a part of my Community Collection Count (and you can too), but he also donated to help me get to Sacramento to lobby for AB 1998 - the proposed ban on single-use plastic bags in CA that passed the State Assembly last week!

So another big thank you to Dean for his support.

He told me about a film that he and his wife just saw in the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride Co. recently called BAG IT. (I have the trailer in a post below)

I just watched the full length film. Now I am sitting here on a Saturday night feeling like we can't just BAG IT. The definition of BAG IT being used here as synonymous with giving up. There is way too much at stake. What is happening to our bodies and environment is just not ok. But if you've found The Daily Ocean, you probably feel that way too. Here are some facts and thoughts swirling around my head from watching BAG IT.
In the USA we use 1 million single-use plastic bags a minute, that is 60,000 bags consumed every 5 seconds

We use 2 million plastic water bottles every 5 minutes in the USA

In 2008 - water bottle sales reached 12 billion dollars

single-use plastic bags are the #1 consumer item in the world.

countries/cities/territories that have banned single-use plastic bags:
New Delhi, Bangladesh, Bhutan China in 2008, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tansania, Rwanda, South Africa, Ireland (bag fee - since inception a 90% reduction)...and there are many more

Why do we use something for only a few minutes that is made from a material you throw away and then lasts for thousands of years in landfills or in our oceans?
(re: plastic packaging and convenience items)

The average American produces 1 ton of trash per year.

Every day NYC produces enough trash to fill YANKEE STADIUM 3X


every municipality has different guidelines for recycling except one thing is consistent - the tops of plastic bottles are not recyclable

massive human rights issues exist with recycling packaging. the plastics industry doesn't want to take back most "recyclables" so it ships them over seas to Asia where people are paid a low wage to sort through the trash from the USA and lots of it is melted down releasing lots of toxic fumes and chemicals directly into the atmosphere.

Adult Albatross bring 5 tons of plastic every year to Midway Atoll to feed their chicks. (Midway Atoll is in the middle of the pacific, further west from the most commonly known Hawaiian Islands...)

"No one is without power, everyone has the capacity to do something." - Sylvia Earle

At the end of the film, the narrator Jeb Barrier came up with a summary to explain his personal journey that inspired him, and director Suzan Beraza, to make BAG IT. Although I have just begun this blog (I am a third of the way through) I feel similarly -

I did start out writing a blog about beach cleanups because I knew there was something very wrong about the ammount of trash on our beaches and in our oceans, but like any journey it has become so much led me straight to the environmental scourge of single-use plastics. I collect trash to illustrate our global, growing problem that is going to take each and every one of us to change.
You with me?
The stakes are too high to not get involved, starting wherever you are, right now at your computer, in your house, in your community. And thanks to those of you who work tirelessly on our behalf. I am proud to know a handful of people interviewed in BAG IT - check them out, what they are up to, support them and again, a huge THANK YOU