General Support to Ban Plastic Bags in California to Save Sea Turtles
The ocean is polluted by plastic waste from the growing use of disposable plastic items in our modern society. Single-use carryout plastic bags contain toxic chemicals. When they pollute the ocean they are ingested by sea turtles, whales, seabirds and fishes with harmful, and sometimes fatal, consequences.
California Senator Alex Padilla has introduced SB 405 to restrict stores from giving out single-use carryout bags, specifically plastic bags and bags not made of recycled content. This action would effectively reduce the amount of plastic waste in California that could become litter in the ocean.
Pacific leatherback sea turtles are declining towards extinction and rely on clean, plastic-free feeding areas offshore of California for their continued survival. At their current rate of decline, they could be extinct in 20 years. Scientists have determined over 35% of leatherback sea turtles contain ingested plastic. The Pacific leatherback is now California's official marine reptile and was granted over 16,000 square miles of protected critical habitat offshore for feeding on jellyfish.
Take action below, whether you live in California or not, to add your name to this critical effort. Please sign and share this call to action with friends, family, and all your contacts!
California resident? Click here to send a message directly to your Legislative Representative.
Dear California Legislature and Honorable Governor Brown,
The undersigned strongly support Senator Alex Padilla's SB 405 to reduce solid waste from single-use carryout bags in California. We support this bill because it will halt the unchecked distribution of single-use plastic bags, encourage increased use of re-useable bags, and increase plastic bag collection and recycling opportunities.
Single-use plastic bags are commonly found littering city streets, creeks and waterways, and polluting the state's beaches. Their abundance makes their presence as litter inevitable, and the fact that plastic does not biodegrade makes them extremely persistent in the environment. Their presence in the environment is extremely detrimental to wildlife because they entangle animals and when ingested accidentally they expose animals to toxic chemicals and cause nutrient dilution or total blockage of the digestive system.
The Pacific Leatherback sea turtle is now California's official marine reptile, and offshore is critical habitat protected for the safety of leatherbacks that feed on jellyfish to survive. Scientists have documented that 35% or more of leatherbacks have plastic or plastic bags inside them - they mistake the litter for food. Plastic pollution is a serious threat to leatherbacks, and many other marine species.
Californians, and the Legislature, have a moral obligation to support protecting the quality of this symbolic sea turtle's offshore feeding area through supporting SB 405 to reduce solid waste plastic bags.
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