Tuesday, November 16, 2010

LA County Cans the Bag!

Great news - the presence of progressive thinkers (or fed-up urban-trash observers) exist in greater Los Angeles County!! AND they have voted to stop allowing retail stores from even offering plastic take-out bags, while enforcing a ten-cent charge for paper bags. Whoa - GUTSY - take that, Sacramento==>>>Wa-BAM!

Like all moves like this - we are in the initial phase: The final ordinance will be drafted and voted on next week, and if approved then, the ban will go into effect on July 1, 2011, for some stores and January 1, 2012 for all stores.

This ordinance is mildly complicated in that it only covers the "unincorporated" areas of LA County. The LA Times article has a great map showing the coverage area. The Fresno Bee offers some other fun insight.

Of course, the leading advocates of the scourge of urban and environmental garbage, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), is threatening to sue the unsuspecting souls of LA in order to continue their assault on the environment (and to maintain the constant fire hose flow of $$$ into their bank accounts)...so stay tuned on that tip.

The whole macadamia was put into neat perspective by Heal The Bay's Mark Gold when he said, "The cost of convenience can no longer be at the cost of the environment for centuries to come."

Amen, hallelujah, HOT-DIGGETY!

[The above image is from a non-Surfrider-affiliated bag retailer, check them out here .]

Monday, November 8, 2010

Welcome To ... The Crapola Islands

Again, our friends at the Plastic Pollution Coalition are making headlines...they've created a new country: The Crapola Islands, a place that "nature could not have created alone", where "the emerald waters teem with sea turtles and the sea turtles teem with tiny pieces of plastic garbage".

Drop by the Crapola Islands website and become a citizen - but beware, to become a citizen you must take the following pledge (suitable for framing and placement near the coffee machine at your office!):

"I, (state your name) pledge allegiance
to the nation of the Crapola Islands.
and by that I mean:

I will use less disposable plastic items
and not go through like 5 styrofoam cups a day;

I pledge not to be that guy.

I further pledge to spread the word
and bring others to the cause because together,
we can solve the plastic pollution epidemic.

Honestly, I see like zero downside to this.

Don't be that guy - but do havva Happy Monday!

Friday, November 5, 2010

NY Bottle Bill Update

One year ago the state of New York (with the help of NE Region Surfrider chapters!) instituted the “Bottle Bill” – essentially a bottle-deposit on plastic bottles. According to Surfrider’s NE Regional Manager, John Weber, “If you believed the critics of bottle bill expansion, it was all gloom and doom, the economy was going to grind to a halt, overtaxed consumers were going to end up in the poorhouse, etc, etc. As you can see the actual results were a little different.

Yo! Vive La Différence!

Not only did the state pick up a cool 120 MiLliOn bucks in unclaimed deposits, but, as we read in the recent press release, “The number of registered redemption centers which take back empty containers grew by 113 in 2009 and an additional 131 as of October 2010. Many of these small businesses have been able to expand and increase their employees’ wages and benefits.

Yo! Helloooo Green Economy!

Sadly, no studies have been completed that can give us any statistical insight into the health changes New Yorkers experience by ingesting so much BPA from drinking out of all those bottles…hmmm...

Yo! Something to ponder this weekend!
- have a plastic-free one…

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

TEDx: Pacific Garbage Patch .....THIS SATURDAY, Nov 6th

If you are wondering what all the buzz about TEDx is all about...well, according to their website, "TEDx is a new program that enables local communities such as schools, businesses, libraries, neighborhoods or just groups of friends to organize, design and host their own independent, TED-like events."

And, if you are still wondering about the whole TED thing, to be "TED-like", an event will entail open, in depth and interesting discourse about a particular subject, in a sort-of-a TV studio setting (think Oprah, NOT), bright lights and an attentive, participatory audience.

OK, so TEDx: Great Pacific Garbage Patch? YES! Our cohorts over at the Plastic Pollution Coalition is hosting this exchange - THIS SATURDAY Nov 6th:

"Where leaders and innovators will come together to explore solutions for the global problem of plastic pollution. With speakers like Dr. Syliva Earle, Van Jones, David de Rothschild, and Ed Begley, Jr (with more being added daily!) the event will challenge humanity to stop plastic pollution."

That line-up again:

Dr Sylvia Earle - Sometimes called "The Sturgeon General", she is an oceanographer, and was Chief Scientist at NOAA in the early 1990's.

Van Jones - Environmental advocate, civil rights activist and attorney - called by one of 2008's Most Creative Minds by Fast Company, and a Hero of the Environment by Time mag.

David de Rothschild - Made a boat, Plastiki, out of plastic bottles and sailed it across the Pacific recently.

Ed Begley Jr - Best known for his role on the television series St. Elsewhere (six consecutive Emmy Award nominations, thankyouverymuch), He currently hosts a "green living" reality show called Living With Ed on Planet Green.

...and they are encouraging you to stage your own viewing party - all you need is a place to host it, a reliable internet connection and an audience of your friends - NICE!

More info:

The TEDx Garbage Patch website. Take The Pledge while you are there.

The Plastic Pollution Coalition website - take their Pledge too - lotsa fun celeb videos and great plastic pollution content there as well. Checque eet aut!