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

Blog Post

LA Battles Bag Ban | Dan Jacobson

In a unanimous decision on Wednesday April 4th, the LA City Council Environment and Energy Committee called for a policy statement for environmental review of an ordinance banning both paper and plastic.

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Blog Post

The Battle for LA | Dan Jacobson

BIG NEWS- A Los Angeles Superior Court upheld the County of Los Angeles ordinance to impose a single-use plastic bag ban with a 10-cent fee on paper bags. The case was brought by the company that makes single use plastic bags. This should pave the way for the City of LA to move forward with a ban on single use plastic bags!!

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Blog Post

McDonald's to phase out Styrofoam

Great news for the ocean: McDonald's, arguably America's most iconic fastfood chain, is launching a pilot program to phase out Styrofoam coffee cups.

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Headline

Dana Point is One Step Closer to a Ban

The City Council moved one step closer banning plastic bags, giving the ordinance the second of three approvals it needs for adoption at its meeting Tuesday night.

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Headline

Cities Support the San Mateo Regional Ban

The City of Belmont recently decided to join the regional bag ban effort in San Mateo County. Foster City will discuss it next Tuesday and the City of Millbrae is the only city in the County jurisdiction the have passed thier own ordinance.

 

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