Saturday, November 20, 2010

Free 'Bag It' movie screenings!

Hey Rappers,
Bag It was recently a feature film presented in the San Diego film Festival in October. Some of our leaders in the Rise Above Plastics committee have organized a few movie screenings for you all! They are free and will be showcasing Bag It, a 79 minute film. So make sure you bring some snacks, your friends or family and enjoy this hilarious reality check. Is your life too plastic?

There are two locations where these screening will be taking place:
12/6 at the SD Public Library (820 E Street, San Diego)
12/7 at La Paloma (471 South Coast Highway 101 Encinitas, CA 92024-3530)

Friday, November 19, 2010

LA County's Bag Ban! and... Day Without a Bag on Dec. 16th, 5-7 pm

1.1 million residents living within the LA county area will be effected from now on by the recent feat for the environmental movement in California by passing the LA County Bag Ban JUST a fews days ago! Hooray!!

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday, November 16th in a 3-1 vote to begin the process of eliminating these bags, setting an example for the rest of the state and nation. The ruling will be placed into effect in July 2011. So that leaves shoppers plenty of time to get their reusable bags ready for many trips to the grocery stores. If, however shoppers still want to use a plastic bag, grocers can only offer them for 10 cents a piece. This price is set in order to persuade the disuse of single-use plastics and begin to carry their own, reusable bags. These bags are avaiable from .99 cents- $1.99 at most grocery stores. Next time you go grocery shopping, and you pack your goodies in plastic bags, pay attention to how many bags the bagger gives you. If you think about it, a .99 cent reusable bag can be paid off in just one or two visits to the grocery store. In the long run, it is a very small, short-term investment, but smart, long-term payoffs. Plastic bags take hundreds of years to decompose!
LA County passes bag ban...

 Let's try to not let this....

 end up here....

 or here...

2007 saw San Francisco's bag ban, the first city to do such a thing in California. Since then many cities in California have joined in force against the ACC (American Chemistry Council) to fight the war against chemicals and plastics - banning the use of plastic bags. According to NPR, San Francisco's ban reduces the amount of plastic bags used in just San Francisco alone by 5 million bags.
Some words from NPR on S.F.'s ban...

With LA county jumping on board, we now have two of the biggest cities in California participating in creating change for our environment. Malibu, San Francisco, Palo Alto and Fairfax have also banned bans on single-use plastic bags. Other California communities such as Santa Monica, Marin, San Jose and Santa Clara also are considering bans this year. We can surely expect to see great reductions of waste being generated and many more cities joining the cause.

We can all do our part! It takes the smallest efforts in each of us to generate some big results. Buy a re-suable bag, or come out to Surfrider's Day Without a Bag on December 16th, 5-7pm. Surfrider will be hosting booths in OB, Oceanside, Cardiff, and Escondido giving away free re-usable bags to promote the switch away from single-use plastic bags.

Day Without a Bag now has 100 locations and 30,000 bags! Surfrider needs volunteers still to help hand out all of these bags! Contact me if you would like to volunteer and be an instrumental part in creating change for the rest of the country and world to see!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Scripps plays Role in National Research of Sea Trash"

Chelsea Rochman, is one of our very own Surfrider members and a third year PhD student in a Joint Doctoral Program with University of California, Davis and San Diego State University in the fields of Marine Ecology and Environmental Toxicology. Her dissertation work is focused on the trophic effects of adsorption of persistent organic contaminants (PAHs, PCBs, OCs, and PBDEs) to plastic debris in the marine environment as well as desorption of contaminants from plastic debris (BPA and phthalates) into the marine environment and its inhabitants. She has been to the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre as part of the SEAPLEX science crew with Scripps Institution of Oceanography and will very soon journey to the South Atlantic Gyre to explore toxicological questions regarding plastic marine debris with the 5 Gyres non-profit.

NOAA, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has funded researchers, like Chelsea, from UCSD from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla to study plastic particles. These plastic samples were collected from an October voyage in the Pacific, by scientists studying the impact of debris on marine creatures and humans. The secondary cruise which will travel from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town, South Africa to collect data from the Southern Pacific Gyre, is being hosted by the 5- Gyres Institute.

By traveling in a different part of the ocean, and with confident predictions of their projected findings, they plan to expose the reality that you can no longer cross an ocean without finding plastic pollution in it.

What they are looking for besides the amount of plastic that is actually in the water are toxins such as BPA and DDT, commonly found chemicals pertaining to plastic and pesticides respectively. Why would a scientist looking for plastic be concerned about a chemical pesticide all the way out in the Pacific Ocean? Plastics act as magnets for highly persistent toxic chemicals, such as DDT, in the ocean. As the volume of plastic increases, so does the adsorption of these organic compounds. If you now are wondering why this would matter to us?Why should we care about the increase in the amount of plastic in our oceans and the chemicals that become concentrated in them? Well, these plastics become highly concentrated particles floating around the water in small sizes ready to be eaten by fish- thus entering the food chain at a level that may immediately effect our food supply.

Ultimately, the aim of this research is to show a relationship of cause and effects on how toxic plastic when ingested or come into contact with will effect marine organisms and humans alike.

Click here to read the full article
From the San Diego Union Tribune
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Hawaii beach garbage recycled as vacuum cleaner"

Electrolux AB, a Stockholm based company, has decided to create a vacuum that not only can perform its traditional duties of cleaning, but also act as a conversation starter. It is a vacuum made from little bits of plastics collected from one of Hawaii's dirtiest beaches, Kahuku. Here many different sizes and kinds of plastics wash up onto the beach, mixing with sand and other natural debris.

Vice president for sustainability and environmental affairs at Electrolux's floor care and small appliances division, Cecilia Nord, pointed out that the problem of plastic washing up on beaches keeps growing because  plastic products are increasingly used without being recycled properly afterward. Often times we might learn about an issue such as plastic waste in the ocean and give it a few moments of thought before returning to our own relevant issues in our lives. This problem may not be relevant to everyone's life at the moment, however if continued to be ignored, it may easily become in the near future a very real problem that effects us all. By creating a vacuum cleaner out of plastic pieces collected from the source of the problem is a creative way to clean up the waste and bring the issue into our homes on a very real level.

This is indeed a very accurate reflection of how we use plastic products today and do not properly dispose them in ways that they may be recycled and re-used. As our plastic bottles, bags, and other single-use plastic items are disposed of, many end up in our oceans where there are now 5 world ocean gyres, circulating plastic in high concentrations. Remember, plastics do not biodegrade, so they remain true to their form for many, many years.

Click here! for a link to the article to read more