Plastic Bag Ban in California and Chile
|Chile and California have many things in common
including plastic bag ordinances
Plastic bag ban is now a shared attribute between Chile and California. As some of you may know we have resided in Santiago, Chile for nearly 5 years now. People in both Chile and California often ask us how is it to live in the other location. I usually respond that Chile and California are mirror images of the other in so many ways that it is like being right at home in either. Both are long and skinny in shape. They share the same cold Humboldt current in the Pacific Ocean. They both have wonderful mountain ranges and lush wine valleys. And of course they both have earthquakes which we have experienced, including the February 27, 2010 quake in Chile that measured a magnitude of 8.8. They also both have a very strong alliance through the Chile-California Council that promote education, cultural exchange, human capital and technology development and environmental protection in Chile and California.
|The Chile-California Council promotes joint endeavors between Chile and California. –
See more at: http://chile-california.org
Mendocino County Initiates Plastic Bag Ban First
Now there is one more commonality. They are phasing out the use of plastic bags by passing an ordinance to ban their commercial use. Chile just has just started the phase out process, while Mendocino County has widened their ban which began a year earlier than Chile’s. Gualala, 5 miles north of The Sea Ranch is in Mendocino County.
In 2009 ahead of the Mendocino bag ban, Gualala Arts promoted the use of cloth bags with their exhibit. Paper nOr Plastic. The exhibit, curated by textile designer Harmony Susalla and quilter Jan Carter, challenged the notion of the shopping bag as disposable landfill-fodder. Their provocative pieces illustrated disturbing environmental findings. “Paper Bags, 2007” depicted the 1.14 million brown paper supermarket bags used in the US every hour. “Plastic Bags, 2007” depicts 60,000 plastic bags, the number used in the US every five seconds.
|One of the artful cloth bags on display at the Gualala Arts Center in 2009|
Effective as of January 7, 2014 now the City of Ukiah has also adapted the ordinance to promote the use of reusable shopping bags. The plastic bags will still be available but at an added cost of 10 cents each.
How Does the Plastic Bag Ban Affect Abalone Bay Guests?
When staying at Abalone Bay we have your shopping needs covered. We provide cloth shopping bags for your convenience. The most difficult aspect of shopping with a cloth bag is to remember to bring them along with you when ever you go shopping. When I stay at Abalone Bay I remember to bags on hand in the car so I have them ready to use should I have any impulse or emergency shopping to do. We certainly do encourage you to do the same…BUT please don’t forget to take them out and leave them available for our next guest…or me!
To learn more about the various plastic bag bans across California and the rest of the United States you may click here.
What more can you do?
Here are ten easy things you may do to reduce your “plastic footprint” listed by Surfrider Foundation:
Ten Ways to Rise Above Plastics:
- Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water. Cloth bags and metal or glass reusable bottles are available locally at great prices.
- Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other ‘disposable’ plastics. Carry reusable utensils in your purse, backpack or car to use at bbq’s, potlucks or take-out restaurants.
- Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons by replacing them with a reusable lunch bag/box that includes a thermos.
- Bring your to-go mug with you to the coffee shop, smoothie shop or restaurants that let you use them. A great wat to reduce lids, plastic cups and/or plastic-lined cups.
- Go digital! No need for plastic cds, dvds and jewel cases when you can buy your music and videos online.
- Seek out alternatives to the plastic items that you rely on.
- Recycle. If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics. Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
- Volunteer at a beach cleanup. Surfrider Foundation Chapters often hold cleanups monthly or more frequently.
- Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.
- Spread the word. Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to Rise Above Plastics!