Ban Plastic Straws in Santa Barbara County!
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Some of the most marvelous beaches in California are either within walking distance, a breezy bike ride or a short drive for the over 440,000 people living in the Santa Barbara County. We have the immense privilege of jogging on pristine shoreline, chasing our off-leash dogs at Hendrys, making sand castles at Carpinteria State Beach, enjoying quiet time at Butterfly, surf watching at Rincon, and the list goes on. At every single beach in the Santa Barbara County, our eyes delight in an extraordinary stretch of ocean wherein our hearts undoubtedly receive healing and rejuvenating energy. We all know this ocean “love”; and, I know we all care. To truly appreciate our beautiful beaches, our oceans need us to see past its beauty and into the heart of its suffering.
This petition is to focus on the use of plastic straws. A devastating amount of trash, particularly plastic, exists within our ocean waters. What little we see in the sand and floating in the water is only a glimpse of the horror that consumes the ocean. According to the EPA, 80% of all marine debris found in the ocean is land-based and a significant percent of that debris is made up of plastic. Plastic straws are made from polypropylene which comes from petroleum, they are not recycled, and they do not biodegrade. They are piling up! Due to its single-use purpose by the consumer, the straw is trashed within approximately 20 minutes. Every day, 500 million straws are thrown away. This enormous amount of straws could wrap the circumference of the earth 2.5 times. Straws are among the top ten of the most hazardous plastics used by Americans. By 2050, it's been reported that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. The plastic straw that appears harmless, cute and fun, is instead wreaking havoc to our ocean's health. This is a community issue of immediate concern and we must take action.
To take care of our beautiful city beaches and inspire a positive change, we need to strive towards Eco-friendlier choices and together become Eco-conscious of how our everyday convenient purchases are affecting the environment. We, as a strong community and county, should ban the single use plastic straw and pave the way for more cities all over America to do the same.
Available on the market for purchase are metal straws, glass straws, recyclable paper straws, bamboo straws and even edible straws. Restaurants can provide a reusable straw by request or switch to paper straws which are the fantastic alternative. Some restaurants who have already made the switch are proudly reporting a decrease in cost due to now stocking the paper straw. But what about my orange mocha frappuccino? Coffee houses offer mug discounts when you bring your own! There are several reusable bottle companies or even the classic mason jar that sell a reusable cup that includes a metal lid and metal straw, thus making it ideal for the coffee drink to be entirely waste free and at a lower cost. As for social drinks at the local bar, maybe we shouldn't be sucking down the alcohol that quickly and instead enjoying the savory sip of the cocktail. The options to replacing the plastic straw are endless; and, there are simply no excuses to make this a positive shift for each different kind of business that sells drinks in our county.
It is imperative that we do something now! I move for us to discontinue the commercial use of plastic straws in Santa Barbara County.
I am asking the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors that include Das Williams, Janet Wolf, Joan Hartmann, Peter Adam and Steve Lavagnino, to move forward with the proper steps and procedure to ban the plastic straw in the Santa Barbara County. Please help me to call upon our excellent team of elected officials to help us make this change by signing my petition. Make your voice be heard by signing, sharing and refusing to use plastic straws.
Veronica Aguirre-Dutton of Carpinteria, CA
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