Monday, May 3, 2010

Cupcakes, Dolphins, & Rainbows!

It’s the LA Times versus the American Chemistry Council…choose your sides, and make your bets.

Essentially, the Times recently wrote an Op/Ed proposing a bag fee on ALL shopping bags dispensed at retail outlets, and the ACC then responds with a keep-buying-and-managing-the-disposal-of-our-product opinion piece, going so far as to admit that their plastic bags are a “scourge on our streets, beaches and oceans”…along with a plea to keep recycling them since the recycling programs are finally “working” (this is the “Dolphins, Cupcakes & Rainbows” part – meaning: in dreamland everyone recycles…and eats yummy cupcakes for all meals and has dolphin friends that leap over never-ending rainbows) – even though only 5% of bags are recycled, according to the LA Times.

The Times Op/Ed mentions a California State Senate bill that proposes an outright ban on bags, and then reigns that in with the idea of the more realistic, and recently-proven concept of a fee on all bags. The fees have tended to work WELL in places that adopt them (just google “Washington DC bag fee” and/or see this recent post). There have been a number of bills in California’s senate over the last couple of years – ever since San Fran attempted a bag ban – and each has fallen by the wayside, victims, no doubt, to prodding by lobbyists and fear of any change from the status quo.

While we digest all of that, take a look at this – a PDF doc, compiled by Surfrider San Diego and San Diego Coastkeeper, that details a few years' worth of beach cleanups in San Diego County (and is partially pictured above). These two groups catalog everything that is picked up along the San Diego county’s ~75 miles of beaches…and nearly everything that was found was….plastic. Please feel free to publish and distribute this info - BTW, here's the accompanying press release.

Lastly, but not leastly, keep track of what you pick up at the beach...and see if your totals don't match the trends detailed in the above report.

Happy Monday!