aDayWithoutPlastic.org

It's a simple idea. One day without plastic. Just a day. Think you can do it? We do.

Here's what's at stake: your health and the future of the ocean.

So, live like you love the ocean. Make June 8th, World Ocean Day or September 19th, International Coastal Cleanup Day YOUR Day Without Plastic.

Or pick your day, tell us how it goes.

And get a pluckfastic.org sticker for your reusable water bottle now!

Plastic Videos

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

War on Plastic: IKEA

Ikea wages war on plastic

CRUSADE AGAINST ECO-UNFRIENDLY BAGS CULMINATES IN OCTOBER
Mercury News

Since March 2007, "Bag the Plastic Bag" has been the rallying cry at Ikea stores nationwide. The yearlong goal throughout the furniture and accessories chain: Save trees and sequester carbon dioxide by reducing plastic bag consumption - from 70 million to 35 million - and persuading customers to fork out 59 cents for the store's new reusable bag.

It's a year later. The results are in. And they are stunning, reports Mona Astra Liss in Ikea's corporate office in Pennsylvania.
Turns out 92 percent of the store's patrons went for the blue tote or used their own. The 8 percent who preferred plastic were dinged a nickel each, resulting in $300,000 that Ikea donated to American Forests, a non-profit citizens' conservation organization (www.americanforests.org).

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War on Plastic: Wiltshire, UK

Town declares war on plastic bags
Exclusive By Katie Adams

THE harmful effects of plastic bags on the environment will be the hot topic of conversation in Corsham this summer.

A multi-pronged attack on plastic bags will be spearheaded by the Pound Arts Centre, which will be linking up with Corsham Town Council, local shops and Corsham School to encourage people to think seriously about recycling.

On May 3 from 11am until 3pm people are being invited to take their old carrier bags to the arts centre in Pound Pill for use in a workshop with textile artist Alison Harper.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Studies on Chemical In Plastics Questioned

Congress Examines Role Of Industry in Regulation
By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 27, 2008; A01

Despite more than 100 published studies by government scientists and university laboratories that have raised health concerns about a chemical compound that is central to the multibillion-dollar plastics industry, the Food and Drug Administration has deemed it safe largely because of two studies, both funded by an industry trade group.

The agency says it has relied on research backed by the American Plastics Council because it had input on its design, monitored its progress and reviewed the raw data.

The compound, bisphenol A (BPA), has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, behavioral disorders and reproductive health problems in laboratory animals.

As evidence mounts about the risks of using BPA in baby bottles and other products, some experts and industry critics contend that chemical manufacturers have exerted influence over federal regulators to keep a possibly unsafe product on the market.

Congressional Democrats have begun investigating any industry influence in regulating BPA.

READ MORE HERE

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Think You Can Live Without Plastic?

One writer chronicles the ubiquity of plastic products in daily life.

by Jill Neimark

Also see DISCOVER's new feature article on the investigation into the dangers of plastics.

How do I love thee, plastic? Let me count the ways. I wake up and glance at my plastic digital cable box to check the time. I go to the bathroom to use my plastic toothbrush, shaking a bit of my “nontoxic” tooth powder from a plastic bottle. I fill the plastic container of my Waterpik with mouthwash from another plastic bottle. I step into the shower—my lacy white curtain is protected by a plastic liner, and my chlorine-free shower water comes to me through a plastic-encased filter.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

The Dirty Truth About Plastic--excerpts

Discover Magazine

READ IT ALL HERE

04.18.2008

BPA and other plastics may be as harmful as they are plentiful.

by Jill Neimark

"The most pressing question about plastic...may be whether daily exposure alters the health and fertility of our children and perhaps even our children’s children. It turns out that the hormonelike chemicals in plastic may remodel our cells and tissue during key stages of development, both in the womb and in early childhood."

"Thus, if the worst-case scenario proves true, early exposure to plastic can reshape not just our children but their children, too."

"At the center of the Pacific Ocean in a windless, fishless oceanic desert twice the size of Texas, a swirling mass of plastic waste converges into a gyre containing an estimated six pounds of nonbiodegradable plastic for every pound of plankton. Called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it is an indelible mark of human domination of the planet. But plastic has also left its mark in us. Plastic’s chemical co-travelers make their way into our urine, saliva, semen, and breast milk."

"Chemicals leaching out of plastics may reshape not only your children but your children’s children.
In a recent study, Swan found that “we could predict the anogenital distance in babies just by knowing which phthalates a mother was exposed to and how much.” Those with the highest exposure to phthalates gave birth to boys with the shortest anogenital distance."


"Back in the 1940s when plastics were being developed, no one suspected that chemicals leaching out of these marvelous materials could have insidious biological effects. What industrial chemists did know was that by tinkering with a highly reactive molecule called a phenol they were able to devise countless synthetic chemicals for use in new materials."

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"Ireland’s “plastax,” launched in 2002, has resulted in a 90 percent voluntary reduction in plastic bag use. Finally, corn-based, biodegradable plastics are beginning to surface, and though these polymers are not yet as durable as current plastics, the technology is advancing."

“We have no choice,” Soto says. “If reproduction is being affected, the survival of the species is compromised'

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Better environment starts with all of us

Battle Creek Inquirer

EDITORIAL

As Earth Day 2008 approaches next week, complex issues such as global warming, renewable energy and contamination of our air and water are at the forefront.

Most of us are content to let scientists, environmentalists, politicians and industrialists haggle over the best actions to take to address these matters.

But that does not free us of personal responsibility when it comes to protecting our environment.

We can start by picking up after ourselves. According to a report released Wednesday by the Ocean Conservancy, too many of us are inclined to simply drop our debris wherever we choose. One Saturday last September, 378,000 volunteers scoured 33,000 miles of shoreline in 45 states and 76 countries, and came up with approximately 6 million pounds of trash. The Ocean Conservancy report catalogs the nearly 7.2 million items they found, ranging from omnipresent cigarette butts to fishing lines and plastic bags that pose lethal threats to wildlife. In fact, volunteers found 81 birds, 63 fish, 49 invertebrates, 30 mammals, 11 reptiles and one amphibian entangled in debris.

According to the report, 57 percent of the trash was related to shoreline recreational activities (food wrappers, bottles, cups, lids, etc.), 33 percent from smoking-related activities, 6.3 percent from fishing or waterway activities, 2 percent from dumping and less than 1 percent from medical and personal hygiene activities. Volunteers found vehicle tires, building materials, beverage holders - and 2.3 million cigarette butts, filters and cigar tips.

Disgusting? Yes. Surprising? Hardly. Our shorelines, roadsides, parks and forests have become the all-too-handy receptacles for a throwaway world.

While the Ocean Conservancy report found that volunteers worldwide collected an average of 182 pounds of trash per mile of shoreline, the U.S. average was 390 pounds per mile - the highest by far of any nation.

Perhaps the saddest part of the report's findings is that the problem is entirely preventable. We literally are trashing our world because too many people just don't care. We have become too lazy to take care of our own trash and too unconcerned about the people who come after us.

So as we prepare for the hoopla of yet another Earth Day, maybe we should take a little more time to clean up after ourselves.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Canada Likely to Label Plastic Ingredient ‘Toxic’

By IAN AUSTEN

OTTAWA — The Canadian government is said to be ready to declare as toxic a chemical widely used in plastics for baby bottles, beverage and food containers as well as linings in food cans.

A person with knowledge of the government’s chemical review program spoke on the condition he not be named because of a confidentiality agreement. He said the staff work to list the compound, called bisphenol-a, or B.P.A., as a toxic chemical was complete and was recently endorsed by a panel of outside scientists.

READ MORE

Thursday, April 10, 2008

CALIF. POISED TO ENACT NATION’S TOUGHEST BAG LAW

CALIF. POISED TO ENACT NATION’S TOUGHEST BAG LAW

Heal the Bay, L.A County urge Assembly to impose fees on plastic bags statewide

SACRAMENTO, CA (April 10, 2008) – Leading environmental group Heal the Bay has joined forces with the County of Los Angeles to endorse AB 2829, a bill that would impose a mandatory fee on the distribution of single-use plastic shopping bags at all large grocery stores and pharmacies statewide.

The bill, authored by Assemblymember Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles), would mark the most aggressive action by any state legislature to curb the proliferation of plastic bags and limit their negative impacts on the marine environment, local economies and quality of life for millions of citizens.

In a bid to encourage consumers to bring their own reusable bags, store owners would be required to charge 25 cents for each plastic bag requested by shoppers. Funds raised would be directed back to local governments on a per-capita basis for litter prevention and reduction efforts.

Members of the Assembly’s Natural Resource Committee are scheduled to vote on the measure Monday. The bill has the support of a wide range of environmental, business and government groups.

“This precedent-setting bill can propel California once again to the forefront of progressive environmental public policy,” said Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay. “Along with a ban, a fee-based proposal is the most effective way to help rid our state of its addiction to wasteful, single-use packaging.”

Californians use more than 19 billion disposable plastic shopping bags each year, with taxpayers spending more than $25 million to collect and dispose of them. While the bags are recyclable, less than 5% of them are recycled. The vast majority wind up in dwindling landfill or clogging our watersheds and blighting our public spaces.

AB 2829 amends a state law that currently forbids municipalities from imposing carryout bag fees, restoring local government’s authority to enact measures that have been shown to reduce pollution. Ireland, for example, has reduced use of plastic bags by 90% since 2002 after imposing mandatory fees.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, hamstrung legally to charge fees, passed a measure this year that set recycling targets for retailers that distribute plastic bags. The county is a sponsor of AB 2829.

“The distribution of plastic bags has created a hidden cost on residents,” said L.A County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke. “They not only pay for plastic bags in the price of their commodities, but their tax dollars fund litter prevention and abatement efforts. It is our poorest communities that are most negatively impacted by the high amount of plastic bag blight.”

The Assembly committee is mulling a separate plastic-bag measure sponsored by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys). Heal the Bay opposes that bill because it relies on unrealistic recycling thresholds and delays action until 2011.

Heal the Bay is a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to making Southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including Santa Monica Bay, safe, healthy and clean for people and aquatic life.

Contacts: Matthew King, Heal the Bay, (310) 451-1500, x 137, mking@healthebay.org
James Bolden, Los Angeles County, (213) 974-1079, jbolden@bos.lacounty.gov

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