We, the undersigned residents, respectfully request that the City and County of Santa Cruz introduce legislation that would place a full ban on single use plastic bags just as San Francisco, Oakland, Malibu, Manhattan Beach and other municipalities have done already.
Single-use plastic bags represent one of the greatest environmental catastrophes of our time. It is estimated that 60-80% of all debris in the ocean is plastic. Plastics take hundreds of years to break down into smaller pieces and most types never truly biodegrade. As a result, marine animals often get entangled in the debris or mistake it for food.
Around 100 billion petroleum-based plastic checkout bags are used each year in the United States, requiring an estimated 12 million barrels of oil each year. A ban on plastic bags would help preserve the integrity of our local ecosystems, reduce the burden on landfills, and cut back litter within the city premises.
For these and other reasons, Save Our Shores and the undersigned residents support a ban on single-use plastic bags within the City and County of Santa Cruz. Such an ordinance is needed to prevent marine debris, save money, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Many other cities have taken similar action recently including San Francisco and Oakland which both recently passed ordinance bans on plastic bags.
There are many alternatives out there, such as reusable cloth bags, bags made from recycled products, bags made from starches, biodegradable polymer and other renewable resources. We thank all local representatives for their time on this and hope we can quickly and effectively establish this small change here in Santa Cruz.