Tonight, the Stewardship for Sustainable Bagging, a non-profit organization put together by OSU-Cascades students, will offer a free showing of the documentary "Bag It" to support their proposed plastic bag ban in Bend.
The goal of the organization is to pass an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags at all retailers and apply a minimum charge of 10 cents on all single-use paper bags.
Here's why a bag ban is a legit idea, according to their website:
"More than 260 species of marine animals are effected by plastic debris in the ocean, either by ingestion or entanglement. Laysan Albatross, sea turtles, monk seals, whales and many species of fish have been found with large amounts of plastic in their stomachs. Approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die each year by ingesting plastics."
Sad face, screw bags, save the animals!
"Single-use disposables like water bottles, coffee cups, plastic utensils and take out containers make our lives more convenient. About 2,480,000 tons of plastic bottles and jars were disposed of in 2008 around the world."
That's a whole lot of garbage, world. We can do better!
"According to the Marine Conservation Society of the UK it takes 450 -1000 years for plastic bags to break down. With the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated, virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form."
Gross. Seriously gross.
Although it sounds like a big task, bag bans have been instated in many other progressive cities in the states including San Fransisco's 2007 ban, and bans in LA County, Brownsville and Austin, TX, Bethel, AK. In the North West, Portland and Seattle have instated bag bans for large-volume supermarkets and retail outlets. A five-cent tax levied on plastic bags in Washington, DC in January 2010 resulted in a decrease in consumption from 22.5 million to 3 million bags in the first month alone.
Check out the documentary tonight to learn more about the harmful effect of plastic bags on our environment and how we can cut down our usage.
For starters, here are some places you can buy reusable grocery bags in Bend:
Cost Plus World Market
Whole Food's Market
The Silver Otter
So, while I want to thank the plastic bag for an amazing cinematic moment in "American Beauty", it might be time to consider decreasing our bag usage in Bend.
Check out the Bend Without Plastic Bags website for more information.