Trash is killing ocean wildlife

Californians throw away 123,000 tons of plastic bags each year, and too many of them end up as litter in our ocean. Today, there are 100 million tons of trash in the North Pacific Gyre; in some parts of the Pacific, plastic outweighs plankton 6 to 1.

All of this trash in the Pacific is creating an ecological disaster:

  • Turtles and seabirds frequently ingest floating plastic, mistaking it for food. They also get entangled in bags and often drown or die of suffocation.
  • Adult seabirds inadvertently feed small bits of plastic to their chicks — often causing them to starve to death after their stomachs become filled with plastic.
  • Toxic pollutants leach from the plastic into the water. Scientists are now studying whether fish and other marine animals absorb these toxic pollutants. If so, there is a good chance that we also absorb them when we eat fish.

What’s really scary is that scientists tell us this plastic may never biodegrade. And every day we go without tackling this problem, it becomes a little bit worse.

We can stop the waste

Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute our oceans for hundreds of years. Californians know this, and are taking action to protect the Pacific.

We’ve made great progress winning local bans and educating the public on the harmful effects of plastic. Today, bags are banned (or soon will be) in more than 100 California communities — and now 1 in 3 Californians are living bag-free. It's a great start, but we’re not stopping until we rid the whole state of plastic bag pollution.

Let's ban the bags statewide!

With more cities banning bags each month, we have the momentum. With your help, we can win an historic victory for our ocean — a statewide ban on plastic bags.

Member support makes it possible for our staff to do research, make our case to the media, reach out to critical constituencies, and help government officials make the right choices for our ocean.

Oceans updates

News Release

LOS ANGELES PROTECTS OUR OCEAN BY BANNING SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAGS

Today, the Los Angeles City Council took a historic step by becoming the largest city in the nation to ban single-use plastic bags. With Angelenos living bag free, all eyes are on the state Legislature to ban plastic bags statewide.

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News Release | Environment California

Award-Winning Film, TV, and Music Talent Urge L.A. City Council To Ban Plastic Bags.

On Wednesday May 23rd Los Angeles City Council will vote on banning single-use plastic bags. Leading talent from the entertainment community throw their support strongly behind the ban: Julia Roberts, Jeff Bridges, Kyra Sedgwick, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Rosario Dawson, John Cusack, Peter Fonda, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and many more are bringing a spotlight to this critical environmental issue.

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News Release | Environment California

NEW REPORT PROVES NEED FOR STATEWIDE BAN ON SINGLE USE PLASTIC BAG

Sacramento, CA. A new report by the Scripts Institute for Oceanography at the University of San Diego California shows that the North Pacific Gyre has 100 times more plastic than previously estimated.  (See report here http://scrippsnews.ucsd.edu/Releases/?releaseID=1271).

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Blog Post

We have the Momentum | Dan Jacobson

Local communities are taking action to ban single use plastic bags.

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News Release | Environment California

Solana Beach and Watsonville Vote To Ban Bags

In the past two days Watsonville and Solana Beach City Council's have just voted to ban single use plastic bags!

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