In an effort to reduce the usage of disposable plastic bags, Save Our Shores, the local leader in ocean advocacy and citizen action, is hosting its first ever Bring Your Own Bag Day in Santa Cruz County.
On Dec. 15, Save Our Shores will partner with 22 retailers around the county to distribute over 5,000 reusable bags to community members.
According to Save Our Shores, the average American uses 500 plastic bags a year, and less than 5 percent of those are recycled after only one use. The petroleum-based product is not biodegradable and the majority ends up in landfills and oceans.
“The detrimental impacts of single-use plastic bags are indisputable. From the oil needed to manufacture and transport bags around the planet to the massive amount of plastic trash destroying our oceans, threatening marine life, and contaminating our food web, this relic of the past is a wasteful contributor to pollution,” said Mark Stone, Santa Cruz County Supervisor and author of Santa Cruz County’s ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags.
The ordinance, which was passed by supervisors in September, will go into effect in March and restaurants and retailers will have to switch to alternative packaging options at that time.
Save Our Shores is hoping to “encourage reusable bag use while creating a greener, plastic-free community, and a healthier ocean ecosystem” through Bring Your Own Bag Day. The organization is partnering with the Cities of Capitola, Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, the County of Santa Cruz, and Green Waste, to conduct the countywide giveaway.
“Using your own bag is a great way to help the environment and stop pollution from hitting our beaches,” Supervisor John Leopold said.
Leopold will be at Live Oak Market at 4 p.m. to talk to residents about Santa Cruz’s progress in stopping plastic pollution in our community.
Save Our Shores will hand out custom-made, reusable canvas bags on Dec. 15 from 4 to 6 p.m. at:
- Scotts Valley Market
- Kmart in Scotts Valley
- Nob Hill Foods in Scotts Valley
- The Capitola Mall
- Live Oak Market
- Mi Pueblo Market in Watsonville
In addition, several other stores will participate in the bag giveaway:
- stores throughout the county will give away reusable shopping bags while supplies last at each of their five locations.
- New Leaf Community Markets will host Double Enviro-Token Day to encourage reusable bag use and further support local non-profits.
- Whole Foods Markets on Soquel Avenue and 41st Avenue will hand out reusable produce bags while supplies last.
Charlie Hong Kong, Staples, Best Buy, , and Macy’s will also participate, making this a community-wide effort supported by retailers large and small.
For more information on Bring Your Own Bag Day, visit http://www.saveourshores.org/news-events/BYOB-day.php.