Earth Day: Ban plastic bags usage in Los Angeles

Julio Alberto Cruz

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Perserve and protect our Pacific Ocean by not using plastic bags that hurt and kill sea animals. Photo credit: Julio Alberto Cruz

Earth Day is this Thursday, April 21 and it has been over 40 years since society has made a conscious effort to change. We need to continue to change more aspects of  our lives so we may conserve and protect our environment.

Did you know that the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970? Since then, groundbreaking environmental laws have been passed. All thanks to the 20 million Americans that stood in protest and began the environmental movement. Without them we wouldn’t have  Clean Air ActClean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

It’s really something that should be incorporated into our every day lives, but nonetheless because there are so many aspects of life that need our eco-help, we must continue continue the effort for a better environment.

As of late, Los Angeles has incorporated CicLAvia, an event that brings awareness to other modes of transportation by highlighting the bicycle. The community is encouraged to ride their bicycles throughout the city in order to minimize the usage of cars. Two CicLAvias have taken place, one recently on April 10.

So what to do for Earth Day?

One idea is to ban the usage of single-use plastic bags is a contribution to Earth Day, especially here in the City of Angels.

It has been an effort since last year to ban single-use of plastic bags all throughout California.

There has been a few local municipalities that have been pushing forward in ways to protect our ocean by banning the use of plastic bags. For example, the unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County, the City of San Jose, Marin County and the City of Santa Monica all have stood up to pass the ban on the usage of plastic bags.

It isn’t us trying to use less or not use at all any plastic bags, but this Earth Day is about making our individual efforts a collective effort by helping ban plastic bag usage a top priority in LA this summer so we can protect our oceans.

The City of Angels should join 11 other California cities in banning plastic bags. San Francisco, San Jose, Long Beach and Santa Monica are some major cities, just to name a few.

These local bans are definitely working.

Efforts to cut plastic pollution, along with the impact of those of us who already bring a reusable bag to the grocery store, have reduced California’s annual use of plastic bags by a third over the past few years – from 18.2 billion to 11.9 billion in just two years.

So, with that being said, try to use less of plastic bags when shopping at supermarkets per say and instead invest in reusable bags. You could always reuse those plastic bags at home or recycle them yourself or drop them off at retail stores that recycle bags like a Kohl’s.