Friday, March 28, 2008

Aqua Colbert

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

School Kids in NYC to be Caned

Sugar caned, that is. NYC is switching from polystyrene food trays to a sugar cane based tray in their lunch room at one school in Brooklyn through a privately financed pilot project. Seems like along with a tree, a grassroots movement grows in Brooklyn! Read the blog posting here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Polystyrene No Longer To Go in Calabasas

The name of the City of Calabasas is either derived from the Chumash Indian for "where the wild geese fly" or from the Spanish word for pumpkin or wild gourd (source: City of Calabasas). Wherever the name came from by April you can call Calabasas "the place where polystyrene won't fly" or "no pumpkin pie to go in styrofoam" because a ban on polystyrene will be in effect in this Los Angeles County city. Read about the ban here.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Report from Australia: Regulation of Plastics Too Fragmented

Current regulations for plastics and chemicals are largely effective in managing the risks to health and safety but less effective in managing risks to the environment and national security, a draft report released by the Productivity Commission has found. It has called for regulatory reforms to focus on national uniformity.

Click here for the full story.

Seattle bans sale of bottled water

Now we're getting somewhere.

San Francisco is making efforts to ban (plastic) bottled water, London's on the move... now Seattle.

"The people of Seattle own one of the best water supplies in the country, every bit as good as bottled water and available at a fraction of the price. When you add up the tremendous environmental costs of disposable plastic bottles clogging our landfills, the better choice is crystal clear."
- Seattle Mayor Greg Nichols


photo: travelpod

How plastics industry battles bans on its bags

As expected, the plastics industry is starting to fight back.

Click here for the full story.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Tide is Turning Against Plastic Bags

When McPaper announces it, you know know it's mainstream! Read the full story at

As many of you have heard me say, there is a wave sweeping the world which will get rid of plastic bags. The question to our cities in San Diego is whether to be on the forefront, leading the way, or be swept up in its path.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Plastic Bag Rehab

"Did you know, Americans throw away an average of 16 plastic bags per week. We think that's a dirty habit. Time to kick it. Make a statement against dirty little plastic bags by using your own chic, reusable, market tote.

the method reusable market tote is our green version of the ugly, plastic shopping bag. it's designed by eco-lifestyle expert Danny Seo so it's stylish + hip. it's reusable so never again will you ever have to decide "paper or plastic?"

Unlike a canvas bag, our reusable market tote is compact and stuffs into its own interior pocket, making it easy to keep in your purse, briefcase or backpack, so you're always ready and armed to shop in sustainable style whenever that unexpected shopping trip comes up. Our bag is made with non-toxic inks and is responsibly produced. we also offset the CO2 emissions of transporting the bag to your door."

Click here to check out the website. It's not exactly clear what the bag is made from but in general Method seems like a pretty 'green' company. They make a lot of stuff that comes in plastic bottles so I am a little perplexed but it all seems to be in #1, highly recyclable containers.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Toxins in Everyday Products

The Chicago Tribune has a great article which asks "Are dangerous toxins lurking in your everyday products?" The article gives a good overview of the dangers found in everyday items including the plastics that we hope to rise above.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Saying No To Styrofoam

Timothy McGarry has a piece in the Mount Shasta News about saying no to Styrofoam (actually a brand name for polystyrene packaging).
“Hey, hon, come and look at this!,” I exclaimed to my wife from the balcony of our coast-side hotel room. What had caught my attention was a piece of styrofoam attached to the leg of a seagull walking around on the beach outside our room - needless to say, a rather disturbing sight.

Now a piece of styrofoam connected to a seagull isn't necessarily anything more than a problem for this unfortunate bird, but I believe it is symptomatic of the environmental hazard that styrofoam has created - and as evidenced by the fact that over 100 cities nationwide have passed laws prohibiting the use of styrofoam food containers within city limits.
What follows is a good primer on how harmful this type of packaging is and tips to reduce your use of it including bringing your own "doggie bag" or container with you to the restaurant! Read the entire article here.

Nutmeg State Considers Plastic Bag Ban

The Connecticut General Assembly is considering a plastic bag ban. The Connecticut Post article reads like a spirited debate between the proposing legislator along with the Department of Environmental Protection commissioner and the usual suspects who oppose the ban and contains a bit of whimsy in the person of Zo Brookes, a mother who constructs dresses out of plastic bags. She too supports the ban.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Another Way to Ocean Friendly Gardens, Recycle the Pot

Surfider Foundation Global and Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter are working together to promote Ocean Friendly Gardens in order to reduce the dry season runoff in San Diego County through conservation, permeability and retention in our gardens. Another way to protect our oceans is by reducing marine debris, through recycling and reducing our use of plastics. One type plastics that may not be recyclable in many areas is that found in plastic pots. A project of the Missouri Botanical Garden is turning recycled pots into landscape timbers. Read about the recycling program here.

EnviroWoman, Plastic Free Year Two

Out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada comes EnviroWoman, a self described "Plastic-free. Cruelty-Free. Vegetarian. Chocoholic." who is striving to live plastic free for the second year. In a tip to reduce plastic (number 2 of her top 10), she points out the absurdity of those to bring their own bags to the market but use plastic produce bags and suggests a substitute. Read her blog by clicking above or at the link to the right.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

On the Lighter Side....

Check out this proposed PSA for Surfrider's Project Blue that was submitted as part of a contest.

New York Bottle Bill

This information provided by Surfrider's Northeast Regional Manager:

The NYC Chapter of Surfrider has been working to NY’s bottle deposit law that only covers beer and soda bottles. The Bigger Better Bottle Bill campaign has been waged by statewide environmental groups like NY PIRG for years. The NYC Chapter has infused new energy into the campaign by collecting non-deposit bottles like water bottles off NY beaches and brought them to the state capitol for a press conference. The Eastern and Central Long Island chapters assisted and were represented at the event.,0,5440473.story

And if you didn’t catch the You Tube video the first time around it has been updated with the Action Network info for NY residents.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Exponential Growth of Plastic in the North Pacific

A: 1990 Running shoes spill B: 2002 Garbage strip C: 2000 Plastic bag spill D: Shoes found E: Eastern Garbage Patch. At the eye of the gyre, plastic reaches concentrations of a million pieces per square mile. Researchers have mapped a giant spill of bags and a mile-long strip of wind-driven garbage. F: Caught in a gyre. Some of the plastic drifting in the North Pacific is swept to shore, like the thousands of Nike shoes that washed up in the Pacific Northwest. But much is trapped by calm winds and sluggish water within the North Pacific's loop of currents.

"The Pacific Garbage Patch is a heap of debris floating in the Pacific that's twice the size of Texas, according to marine biologists.

The enormous stew of trash - which consists of 80 percent plastics and weighs some 3.5 million tons, say oceanographers - floats where few people ever travel, in a no-man's land between San Francisco and Hawaii.

The patch has been growing, along with ocean debris worldwide, tenfold every decade since the 1950s, said Chris Parry, public education program manager with the California Coastal Commission in San Francisco."

Pretty much the same story but it's getting bigger by the day. Click here for the full San Francisco Chronicle article.

21 UK retailers cut plastic bag content by 14% in a year.

One billion fewer plastic bags were handed out during the first year of a UK initiative signed by 21 retailers in February 2007 to cut the environmental impact of carrier bags. It comes as Marks & Spencer launched its plan to charge a levy for providing customers with plastic bags in UK stores.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Leucadia E-Waste Event Moved to April 19

The electronic waste recycling event at Paul Ecke School in Leucadia has been moved to April 19. To volunteer, email Thanks!

Local Ordinance Update

from the Californians Against Waste Newsletter:

Santa Cruz County Moves Towards Going PS-Free
Santa Cruz County is close to becoming the first California county to go totally polystyrene-free. Santa Cruz County and City adopted polystyrene bans this month. Capitola has had a long-standing polystyrene ban. That leaves only two cities in the County where polystyrene takeout packaging is legal.

Action in Los Angeles County
As LA County begins the process of implementing its benchmark-or-ban approach to plastic bags, the Santa Monica City Council has directed its staff to draft the toughest plastic bag ordinance yet. Santa Monica's approach would ban plastic bags at all stores and could potentially require a fee for paper bags. Meanwhile, the City of Los Angeles is scheduled to have a joint committee hearing March 5 to take on several council motions that could potentially ban plastic bags and polystyrene in city limits. The City of Burbank is also contemplating a polystyrene ban. Long Beach has been considering several ordinances for several months.

Not to be outdone, several other Bay Area governments are considering plastic pollution measures. The City of Berkeley is poised to pass a bag ban; a similar ordinance is being considered in San Jose. Sonoma, Mendocino, Monterey and Santa Clara counties are all in the early stages of considering bans or reduction benchmark ordinances for plastic bags. San Mateo County is considering banning polystyrene in County facilities.