Thursday, December 20, 2007

No Plastic Bags Today

In an effort to curb the use of disposable plastic bags, Heal The Bay has declared today A Day Without a Bag. Taking advantage of the busy holiday season, the Santa Monica based NGO hopes to attract shoppers' attention to the disastrous environmental consequences of plastic bag consumption. For 24 hours, people will be asked to bring their own bagging, or to buy canvas totes at the stores. "The intent is to educate people on how easy it is to use reusable bags rather than throwaway plastic," says a representative. Retailers, cities and government agencies across L.A. County are expected to follow through.

Feeling inconvenienced? Consider this: "Los Angeles County residents use 6 billion plastic bags each year and recycle only 5% of that total," says Heal The Bay. The other 95% "become part of the plastic-dominated litter stream, putting added pressure on scarce landfill, fouling our public spaces, degrading already weakened watersheds, and threatening marine life."

For a glimpse of what it means, check out Salon's Plastic bags are killing us and BestLife's Our oceans are turning into plastic...are we? Add to it the Texas-size plastic vortex floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and suddenly, carrying your own bag for 24 hours (or having your car carry it for you) makes sense. In fact, it should become an everyday habit -- as is already the case in other countries throughout the world, where plastic bags have been banned.
on LAist]
[update 01/22/08: County considers plastic-bag ban, fee in Daily News]