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Coastal Blog — Bag Bans

Keep The Sea Plastic-Free

July 23 2013

Keep The Sea Plastic-Free

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

It's summertime and the beaches are packed with people - and their stuff. On the way to the water today with surfboard in hand I came across a ziplock bag filled with cookies along the tide line. I'm not sure which family it belonged to so I just tossed it…

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It’s Official, LA Mayor Signs Plastic Bag Bag Into Law!

June 26 2013

It’s Official, LA Mayor Signs Plastic Bag Bag Into Law!

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa cemented his stellar environmental record by signing the plastic checkout bag ban into law. City Council has been working on the issue for ten years and finally passed an ordinance this year that will make LA the largest city in the U.S. to take meaningful…

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Job Killer or Job Creator?

June 20 2013

Job Killer or Job Creator?

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

People don't make plastic bags, machines do. I know that it takes people to run and maintain the machines then package the bags to be shipped but it is a highly automated process. On the other hand, people do make reusable bags. Quality reusable bags are stitched one at a…

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Surfrider Activists Stand Up To Fight Plastic Pollution in LA and Chicago

June 19 2013

Surfrider Activists Stand Up To Fight Plastic Pollution in LA and Chicago

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

Tuesday was a big day for plastic bag reductions in two of the largest U.S. cities, Los Angeles and Chicago. The City of LA is very close to finalizing a plastic checkout bag ban they have been discussing for ten years while there are positive signs out of Chicago as…

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Mana Kai Film Series

June 14 2013

Mana Kai Film Series

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans Expanded Polystyrene Foam

MANA KAI (means 'Spirit of the Ocean' in Hawaiian Language) is a short film created by Surfrider activist Pasha Reshikov exploring the relationship of humans and the ocean, touching on the spirit of the oceans and their response to human pollution. Mana Kai is told through the story of a…

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Chicago Plastic Bag Recycling Falls Short

June 13 2013

Chicago Plastic Bag Recycling Falls Short

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

In 2009 a citywide ordinance for Chicago was implemented to help increase plastic bag recycling but a recent report shows that the program has not been successful. The ordinance called for recycling messaging on plastic checkout bags, recycling bins in every store, to recycle or reuse the bags, and to…

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Bag Ban Closing Arguments

June 11 2013

Bag Ban Closing Arguments

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

In late May a plastic bag ban bill failed to advance out of the California State Senate by three votes. As in years past, there was a heated debate on the floor. The legislators opposing the bill used the same old arguments while SB 405 author Senator Alex Padilla made…

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How Many Plastic Bags Does It Take To Kill A Dolphin?  4.

June 06 2013

How Many Plastic Bags Does It Take To Kill A Dolphin?  4.

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans Expanded Polystyrene Foam

A disturbing story was recently reported in New York where a "dolphin had swallowed four plastic bags and it starved to death because the bags disrupted its digestive process." Plastic bag reduction opponents often claim that impacts to wildlife are overblown. The reality is that it's tough to get solid…

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China Leads the Way. Or Does It?

June 06 2013

China Leads the Way. Or Does It?

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans Expanded Polystyrene Foam

Reducing plastic pollution is a global priority as the ocean is turning into a plastic soup. Many people see reducing plastic checkout bags as a great first step. While there are over a hundred local checkout bag ordinances in the U.S., no state government has acted yet to reduce plastic…

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Worldwide Beach Litter Stats - Plastics Lead The List

May 22 2013

Worldwide Beach Litter Stats - Plastics Lead The List

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans Expanded Polystyrene Foam

The Ocean Conservancy recently released the totals from last years' worldwide Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) and each of the top seven items picked up are typically made from plastic. CCD provides a one day snapshot of beach litter with over half a million volunteers picking up over ten million pounds…

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Bag Ban Legislative Season Heats Up!

May 13 2013

Bag Ban Legislative Season Heats Up!

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

As the legislative season heats up in areas around the country, there is an increase in plastics related legislation. "The largest single subject of all these bills at the state level is plastic bags. Thirty-five plus bills would either ban plastic bags or put taxes on them or require their…

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With Us - NYC Expands Recycling!

April 25 2013

With Us - NYC Expands Recycling!

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans Expanded Polystyrene Foam

On Wednesday, Mayor Bloomberg hosted a press conference to announce that New York City is expanding its household recycling program to include all rigid plastics, not just #1 or #2 bottles and jugs. This will be a great opportunity to divert materials from the landfill and provide more recycled source…

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Million Reusable Bag Giveaway

April 04 2013

Million Reusable Bag Giveaway

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

Los Angeles is getting ready to finalize their plastic checkout bag ban and groups are ready to provide reusable bags 'Made in LA' for the masses. California Greenworks, in partnership with Green Vets LA and Homeboy Industries, proposes the “Million Reusable Bag Giveaway” pilot program, to create and distribute 25,000…

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Top Plastic Pollution Bills in California

March 28 2013

Top Plastic Pollution Bills in California

Legal Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

The California legislative session started off in full sprint this year, with Senators and Assembly members tripping over themselves to come up with bills that address coastal plastic pollution. At the end of the first quarter, we have several priority pieces of legislation that Surfrider Foundation supports in our efforts…

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Can a First Coast City be the First City in Florida to Refuse Plastic Bags?

March 11 2013

Can a First Coast City be the First City in Florida to Refuse Plastic Bags?

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

Florida is a state that limits 'home rule' when it comes to plastic bags - municipalities are not allowed to enact a plastic bag ban or fee-based ordinance per state law. That did not slow down a group of Flagler College students who are working to eliminate plastic bag litter…

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Plastic Bag Freedom.  HUH?

March 07 2013

Plastic Bag Freedom.  HUH?

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

America's Founding Fathers obviously did not have plastic bags in mind when seeking freedom, but in desperate efforts, some plastic bag proponents are trying to associate plastic bags with freedom. "On Tuesday, Rep. Drew Springer (Muenster) filed HB 2416 "The Shopping Bag Freedom Act" to give retailers and consumers the…

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Appeals Court Rules for LA County Bag Ban and Against Plastics Industry

February 22 2013

Appeals Court Rules for LA County Bag Ban and Against Plastics Industry

Legal Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

On February 21, 2013, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District affirmed the lower court judgment in favor of Los Angeles County in defending their municipal bag ban ordinance from an attack brought by the plastics industry, including Hilex Poly Co., in Schmeer et al v. County…

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Reusable Bags Are Dangerous?  Don’t Believe The HYPE!

February 11 2013

Reusable Bags Are Dangerous?  Don’t Believe The HYPE!

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

Over the past couple of weeks numerous stories and LTE's have focused on recent 'research' claiming a link between unwashed reusable bags and deaths in San Francisco. This flawed research builds on the misleading research started in 2010 between University of Arizona and Loma Linda University that was funded by…

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2013 Rise Above Plastics Program Plan

January 15 2013

2013 Rise Above Plastics Program Plan

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans Expanded Polystyrene Foam

Here is a four minute video that provides an overview of the Rise Above Plastics program and our goals for this year. If you are not involved with a Surfrider Chapter, you can find the closest one at www.surfrider.org/chapters.

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Are You A Bag Hero?

January 08 2013

Are You A Bag Hero?

Rise Above Plastics Bag Bans

The Surfrider Foundation Coastal Bend (TX) Chapter has developed a great program to highlight community members who are using reusable bags. The Bag Hero program demonstrates how easy it is to bring your own bags and why it’s important. Each month they recognize an exceptional community member who has chosen…

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