Philly, it’s time to get enthusiastic about ditching those bags of plastic

It’s no secret that I am not a fan of single use plastic bags (Check out this series about the majestic plastic bag from last summer) and I support any campaign requesting city officials to review a ban on plastic bag. This is especially true when the city of focus is Philadelphia, PA. I might be more of DCist lately, but my heart and soul are from Philly (Go Phils!). My parents are from the area and I still have plenty of family that I do not see enough in the area, not to mention I was raised in south Jersey. The way I always differentiate south and north Jersey for people that wonder why I make such a distinction is that when you say ‘the city’ in south Jersey you are referring to Philly and if you say ‘the city’ in north Jersey you are referring to NYC.

In any event, I actively volunteered with DC Surfrider as they worked vigorously to pass the Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act of 2009 which set up a 5 cent cost for all single use plastic bags and know that this type of change in a city has an impact on local streets, sidewalks, and waterways. The goal here is simple, if you live in or care about the beautification of Philadelphia, please sign this petition to bring attention to the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, therefore initiating a vote in City Council. For more information please visit Green Philly Blog.

Los Angeles has officially banned plastic bags, joining cities Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, Toronto & many more. Philadelphia voted and rejected a plastic bag ban in June 2009. We need to bring the ban back to our city of brotherly love.

Please feel free to share this message and if you’re on Twitter use #BanPhillyBags to add to the conversation.
Here is another great infographic on the subject “How Convenience is Killing Our Planet” from the folks at ArteIdeas.

World Oceans Day is June 8th

June 8th is World Oceans Day, the UN-designated day for the global community to celebrate and take action for our shared ocean. So start the weekend off on a wave of advocacy and share the message that you have concern for the sea with your friends and family.

My call to action in honor of World Oceans Day? The Majestic Plastic Bag is one of the oceans greatest threats because chances are it’s so mundane you don’t even notice it effects. Look around you right now: how much plastic do you see and where does it go? Switch one disposable plastic habits for a sustainable, ocean-friendly one: such as bringing reusable food containers from home when eating out for your ‘doggie bag.’ Head out to your nearest and dearest body of water with some friends and pick up all the trash you find. You’ll be surprised at how much of it is plastic. Many communities around the world are banning plastic bags from being used at their stores. Learn how to start a campaign to stop plastic bags use in your town!

Here are some United States Events to celebrate World Oceans Day 2012 with others in your town.

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.” ― William Faulkner

Best of 2011 from BCS

I hope everyone welcomed the New Year with style and grace! Here is a fun list to recap the “Top 12 most popular posts written by Beach Chair Scientist in 2011”:

1. It’s as easy as A, B, Sea: Weddell Sea
2. Happy as a clam
3. Beach trivia
4. 5 facts about fish farming
5. Basics on renewable energy
6. 13 apps for your day at the beach
7. Blue Sway – Paul McCartney
8. Can you write with a sea pen?
9. The Majestic Plastic Bag – Part IV
10. Linda Thornton, an inspiring aquaculturist on a mission for sustainability
11. How deep is the ocean?
12. 30 reasons to be grateful for the ocean

 

The Majestic Plastic Bag – Part IV

Thin plastic shopping bags

This just in! Another fine addition to The Majestic Plastic Bag conservation series. A reusable plastic bag company, ChicoBag Company, announced recently that they are being sued by three of the nation’s largest disposable plastic bag manufacturers. Those companies are claiming that a link on the ChicoBag Company website educating citizens about the long term implications of disposable plastic bags to the environment is causing “irreparably harmed” their business.

Some of the statements that the disposable plastic bag companies have issue with are:

  • “A reusable bag needs only to be used eleven times to have a lower environmental impact than using eleven disposable bags.” Source: EPA
  • “Only one percent of plastic bags are recycled.” Source: EPA
  • “Somewhere between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year.” Source: National Geographic
  • “The world’s largest landfill can be found floating between Hawaii and San Francisco. Wind and sea currents carry marine debris from all over the world to what is now known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This ‘landfill’ is estimated to be twice the size of Texas and thousands of pounds of our discarded trash, mostly plastics.” Source: National Geographic
  • “Each year hundreds of thousands of sea birds and marine life die from ingestible plastics mistaken for food.” Source: L.A. Times

We’ll keep you updated on how this plays out via our Twitter feed.

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The Majestic Plastic Bag – Part II

Yesterday we brought you the “mockumentary”, The Majestic Plastic Bag. As a follow-up today check out this amazing infographic from reusablebag.com. Ireland reduced plastic bag consumption by 90% (1 billion bags!) from 2001-2011 by imposing a tax of 37-cents.

Bag Bans Worldwide
Source: Reusable Grocery Bags

image (c) http://www.reusethisbag.com