This is a guest post by Alexis Saez, Senior and Co-Captain of Team Marine at Santa Monica High School.
Team Marine participates in countless beach clean-ups every year, and every time we find an insane amount of single-use plastics. Plastic bags are one of the worst offenders. We first started trying to get Santa Monica to ban the bag about four years ago. Along with other community members, we have spoken at various city hall meetings, participated in numerous marches, and more recently we’ve been conducting research at local grocery stores. About 10 months prior to the bag ban’s implementation, we started surveying six grocery stores (Albertsons, Santa Monica Co-op, Ralphs, Trader Joes, Vons, and Whole Foods) to see the frequency and types of bags used (plastic, paper, reusable, and no bag).
We have continued this research since then and hope to show it to other districts/ cities as proof that a switch to reusable bags is in fact POSSIBLE! As well as this, one of our Team Members just went to the Capitol Building in Sacramento, met with Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, and learned about a state-wide plastic bag ban.
Right now, we are still surveying stores and are working on data entry/number crunching so we can get graphs for a press release that we are hoping to release in the near future.
Visit Team Marine’s blog to read more about successfully banning the bag in Santa Monica: http://www.teammarine.org/2011/01/26/santa-monica-finally-bans-the-bag/