Hey neighbors, have you noticed the lack of free plastic bags at your supermarket or in your restaurant? The cities of Santa Cruz and Capitola have implement their plastic bag bans. And, even if it feels like an inconvenience today, I believe that when you see how much cleaner our community is – even the parking lot at your supermarket – it'll feel worthwhile for all of us.
A little history about plastic bags on our beaches: before we began working to enact plastic bans in our community, Save Our Shores collected over 36,000 plastic bags in about five years of beach cleanups.
So, I've included a simple chart below to show the results of plastic bag bans.
In March of last year, we saw the County of Santa Cruz enact a ban for the unincorporated parts of the county. Then, in September, the city of Watsonville followed. Before the bans, Save Our Shores was collecting an average of 65 bags per cleanup. By the end of 2012, that number decreased to 6 for these areas. That's more than a 90% decrease in just one year!
For Santa Cruz County, our goal right now is to pass a ban in Scotts Valley as soon as possible, so that we’ll have bag bans in every jurisdiction within the county.
We’re also involved with enacting bans in Monterey and San Mateo Counties. Thirteen cities have signed on to the San Mateo regional bag ban that went into effect in April as well. The city of Carmel and Monterey enacted bans just recently, and we hope to see the County of Monterey, the City of Salinas and the City of Pacific Grove move forward this year as well.
Thank you for Saving Our Shores. I'm very proud to be part of the board of directors.