With Earth Day just around the corner, many environmental organizations are raising awareness for the plastic bag ban and some communities are even preparing for the ban to be instated this Earth Day, on April 22, 2013. The “bag ban” encourages the use of reusable bags to promote healthier environments for communities through the decreased use of single-use plastic bags. Here at Ocean Minded, we believe simple changes such as remembering to B.Y.O.B or bring your own (reusable) bag, can have a positive impact on our environment and help keep not only our beaches, but our planet clean.
Ocean Minded works very closely with like-minded organizations to support their beach cleanup and environmental initiatives. The Surfrider Foundation, being one of them, has built an entire campaign around this plastic bag bag with Rise Above Plastics (RAP). Their B.Y.O.B. Bring Your Own Bag campaign’s goal is to pass city wide ordinances in local chapter locations for 10 cents on all paper bags and eliminating the use of single use plastic bags.
The country-wide bag ban initiative is a result from the very sobering statistics on single-use plastic bags. According to RAP, it is estimated that Americans go through about 100 billion plastic bags a year and in 2009, approximately 3.8 million tons of waste plastic “bags, sacks and wraps” were generated in the United States and only 9.4% of this total was recycled. Plastics do not biodegrade and even worse, they break down into small particles that make their way into the ocean, absorb toxins, and enter our food chain through fish, sea birds and other marine life.
Supporting this initiative, Ocean Minded Ambassador, Lulu Erkeneff is leading the Dana Hills High School Surfrider Club to work with the school’s local South Orange County Surfrider Chapter in handing out reusable eco-friendly bags to shoppers in Dana Point, California.
“The Mayor came out and stood along side our group and we were given a thumbs up for the bag ban and for our BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) campaign,” says Lulu. “Just like remembering to grab your car keys if you’re taking the car out, its so easy to remember to B.Y.O.B!”
5 Tips Helpful Tips from Lulu Erkeneff
- Pay attention to your purchases! Frequent restaurants and retailers who are already using sustainable packaging and no plastic bags at carry out.
- Take a personal pledge to Rise Above Plastics and reduce your use for single use!
- Get involved and make your voice count locally and beyond by letting your elected officials know we need to stop the tide of man made plastic pollution from getting into our urban and ocean environments!
- Get involved with your local Surfrider Foundation chapter; it’s fun and gratifying!
- Remember, what goes in the ocean goes in YOU!