There are a number of local environmental groups that have called for December 15th to be a “Day Without a Bag”. San Diego Coastkeeper, Surfrider Foundation, I Love a Clean San Diego, plus others (City of Encinitas, the San Diego U-T) have joined in for this call.
Here is their announcement:
Welcome to a Day Without A Bag.
On Thursday, December 15th, we are asking holiday shoppers and retailers to forgo single-use, plastic and paper shopping bags in favor of reusable bags.
Join residents in the San Diego Region, and throughout the state, in pledging to use a reusable shopping bag whenever you shop. It’s a simple, yet powerful step you can take to “green” your community and help protect the environment.
The purpose of the event is to educate and raise awareness of the need to keep communities, waterways, and beaches clean via litter prevention and promote a ‘greener’ holiday season through reuse.
Single-use items create more trash, and when they become litter, can sometimes create pollution in our local waterways. On December 15, 2011, reusable bags will be given away at numerous locations throughout the county. Plus, several stores will be offering a variety of one day special incentives to help support the change to reusables.
The Surfrider Foundation said San Diegans use more than 1.7 billion plastic bags each year. Marisa Espinosa with the San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation said the single-use bags clog waterways, harm wildlife and litter our beaches and streets.
“Why should we use something once and it’s going to be around forever,” said Espinosa. “Plastics never biodegrade, they photodegrade, so that means they break down into smaller pieces. So they’re going to be around forever.”
She said Surfrider members will be handing out reusable bags Thursday afternoon at various markets in San Diego County.
The EPA reported that less than five percent of plastic bags are actually recycled, and many are made from non-renewable fossil fuels.