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SOUNDING OFF: Time to get rid of single-use bags

I am pleased to read that we may soon be reaching a decision on whether to continue the use of single-use plastic carrier bags in Laguna Beach.

We can ban them entirely or charge 20 cents more or less per plastic bag, as Seattle voted to do. I would like to thank the Environmental Committee for its work on this, and I look forward to its forthcoming proposal.

The plastic bags often wind up as litter in the waves. They look like jellyfish and are mistakenly eaten by sea turtles, birds and other marine life.

About 6.4 million tons of litter enters the world’s oceans each year, 90% of it plastic. In California, 600 plastic bags are used every second "” 19 billion per year and counting. Mind-boggling, isn’t it?

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I believe most of us in Laguna feel it would be more effective for a complete ban on plastic bags rather than a ban on free plastic bags. Regardless of the ordinance we adopt, the time has come for us to step up to the environmental plate with a ban, making reusable sacks as common as cellphones "” and yes, life will go on. If China can do it (the ban on free plastic bags went into effect on June 1) then so can we.

With the upcoming elections I urge our City Council Members to be trendsetters and leaders of the war on pollution of our ocean in Southern California by adopting a comprehensive single-use plastic carrier bag ban for Laguna Beach ASAP. This would be a genuine validation and shining emblem of our city’s acceptance and implementation of the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement Plan.


CHARLOTT MASARIK lives in Laguna Beach.


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