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Saturday, October 25, 2014 / PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM FOR POSITIVE ACTION
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Two More Cities Ban Plastic Bags

Nathan Weaver
Environment California / News Report
Published: Thursday 17 January 2013
Cupertino and Glendale become the latest California cities to ban throwaway plastic bags.
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The Cupertino City Council and Glendale City Council each voted unanimously tonight to bar stores from distributing single-use plastic bags within their respective city limits. The vote came after lengthy comment from residents, activists, and public officials in enthusiastic support of the ban.

“This important step forward for Cupertino and Glendale shows yet again that local communities can achieve lasting victories for ocean and environmental health,” said Nathan Weaver of Environment California. “We continue to build more and more momentum to keep plastic out of the Pacific. Every week cities, town, counties and others are working to ban single use plastic bags, Styrofoam food packaging, and other unnecessary throwaway plastics polluting our oceans.”

Nearly 60 cities and counties in California have voted to ban single-use plastic bags in recent years. Plastic bags are a direct threat to wildlife, like the pacific leatherback sea turtles that mistake them for edible jellyfish, and they are thought to be a major source of marine plastic pollution.

DITCH THE PLASTIC BAG FOR A NATIONOFCHANGE CANVAS BAG!

The new ordinances will take effect on October 1 for Cupertino and by January 2014 for Glendale. While Glendale’s ordinance applies only to large grocery stores, large pharmacies, and certain convenience stores, Cupertino’s ban covers stores of all sizes, including retail. Neither ban would apply to restaurants.

Both cities adopted $.10 fees, to be retained by the merchant, for each paper bag that a shopper requests. Shoppers who receive benefits under the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children will be exempt from paying the fee.

Cupertino will also adopt an anti-littering ordinance and ordered city staff to draft a Styrofoam food packaging ban.

About plastic bag pollution

Vast amounts of plastic litter have accumulated in the Pacific Ocean, threatening fish, birds, and other wildlife that too frequently mistakes floating plastic for food. This plastic soup will never bio-degrade. At best, it brittles in the sun, breaking into flakes and scraps that can be swallowed by smaller animals.

Plastic bags are a major source of marine plastic pollution and a direct threat to wildlife. Sea turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, filling their stomachs with indigestible blockage that can eventually starve the animal to death. Birds and fish can become tangled in plastic, impeding their ability, to feed or escape predators. As plastic bags breaks down at sea, they add to the soup of floating fragments swallowed by birds, fish, and filter feeding organisms.

Plastic bags are one of the most common garbage items found in annual beach cleanups by Ocean Conservancy and other groups. Catch basin cleanouts along the Los Angeles River have found that plastic bags and film constituted up to 43 percent of litter collected, according to a report prepared for the California Coastal Commission.



ABOUT Nathan Weaver

 

As Environment California's Oceans Advocate, Nathan Weaver manages campaigns to protect California's oceans, coasts, and marine life.

Born and raised in California, Nathan joined Environment California as the Oceans Advocate in September 2012. He attended Harvard Law School, where he earned his J.D., and has spent summers working on environmental law matters for the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Department of Justice. As an undergraduate, Nathan studied Environmental Policy and Philosophy at the University of California, Davis. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys recreational cycling and is taking up sea kayaking.

Hasn't 33 years of

Hasn't 33 years of Cancervative rule taught Californians anything???? Every Reagan loving patriot knows that caring for the environment by not polluting is Anti-wallst Anti-capitalism, Anti-Elitism and fundamentally Un-American! If they don't want to end up in Guantanamo as terrorists threatening the American way of life and the constitutional right to pollute, they better cut the commie pinko crap and demand plastic!!! This nation was founded upon the freedom to trash the waters and trashing the waters is as patriotic as you can get!!!!! Just ask any tea-partier. And this from the state that gave us his holiness Lord Reagan in the first place. How dare they!!!!

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