Save The Bay

Is it true that the only thing that we are doing so far is rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic? Save the Bay has launched a campaign calling for a statewide ban, or fee, on single-use bags: The focus is plastic bags, but paper bags—which, nationwide, account for the loss of 14 million trees annually—would also be included.
Their proposal sounds aggressive, but something needs to be done: Bay Area residents use 3.8 billion plastic bags every year. Average use time is 12 minutes. A million bags end up in the Bay each year. 1.37 million plastic bags were removed from coastal areas worldwide in one day last year. Plastic trash entangles, suffocates, and poisons at least 267 animal species worldwide. According to the California Coastal Commission, up to 80 percent of all marine debris is plastic, which never biodegrades. Scientists recently measured 334,271 pieces of plastic per square mile in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Plastic bag recycling is costly and ineffective. Despite a 15-year statewide effort in California, recycling plastic bags has failed. The California Integrated Waste Management Board estimates that less than 5 percent of all single use plastic bags in the state are actually recycled.
With well-designed policies that address both plastic and paper bags, consumers will switch to reusable cloth bags. The legislation supported by Save The Bay and other advocates covers all single-use bags, both paper and plastic. This is a proven way to decrease the use of both kinds of bags in favor of reusable bags – which are inexpensive and long-lasting – ultimately saving retailers and consumers money. Every year in the U.S, consumers and retailers spend billions of dollars on single-use bags that have an average use time of 12 minutes.


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