Protect the California Plastic Bag Ban for the Sake of Ocean Wildlife
California is endowed with the nation’s largest network of marine protected areas (MPAs) off its coast, including the Gulf of the Farallones Hope Spot. These underwater parks are critical in giving ocean wildlife refuge from exploitative practices including commercial fishing. However, other environmental stressors still continue to pervade the boundaries of California’s MPAs and harm these precious ecosystems. One such scourge is plastic bag pollution. Luckily, Californians have the chance to deal plastic bag pollution a deathblow on November 8th, 2016.
Dr. Sylvia Earle, Founder of the Sylvia Earle Alliance / Mission Blue and Explorer-in-Residence of the National Geographic Society, urges everyone to learn about plastic pollution and act to stop it:
"The amount of plastic that washed ashore in the year 2010 alone was enough to cover every inch of coastline on Earth. That doesn’t even include 99 percent of the plastic that ends up in the ocean every year. Now we know. Ignorance is the biggest problem of all for the ocean – and many other things as well. Now that we know the astonishing amount of plastic that enters the ocean each year, we can act. People around the globe can stand up, armed with knowledge, and demand an end to disposable plastic and mismanaged waste. All countries around the globe have a responsibility to contain whatever plastic they create and consume. It’s up to individuals – scientists, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, kids! – to find creative solutions to plastic pollution and ignite that sense of urgency to cause change."
You may remember that in 2014 the California State Legislature passed a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags known as Senate Bill 270 (SB 270). That crucial ban is prevented from taking effect – thanks to millions of dollars in out-of-state funding from plastic manufacturers – until California voters weigh in on a ballot referendum this November 8th, 2016.
A “YES” vote means upholding the bag ban. A “NO” vote would overturn it.
Mission Blue believes a “YES” vote is the right path forward to a healthier ocean, healthier planet and healthier people. Especially considering that every day California’s statewide plastic bag ban is delayed 17 million more plastic bags are sold in the state, the time to act is now.
Protect the California Plastic Bag Ban for the Sake of Ocean Wildlife.
The California plastic bag ban is a critical piece of legislation to control plastic pollution in California’s marine protected areas (MPAs). Single-use plastic bags contribute to the deaths of fish, birds, sea turtles, whales and other wildlife living in California’s MPAs and beyond. We implore you to vigorously fight attempts by commercial interests to dismantle SB270 for the sake of private gain. Their success would be detrimental to the future of our precious ocean environment upon which humankind relies for vital ecosystem services.
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