Chris Pincetich, Campaigner & Marine Biologist, (415) 663-8590 x102, firstname.lastname@example.org
Plastic Bag Ban Will Help Save California’s Endangered Sea Turtles
San Francisco, CA - A new report released today exposes the severe harm that plastic bags in the ocean cause to the endangered sea turtles and other marine life offshore of California – and how banning single-use plastic bags will help save the lives of critically endangered leatherback sea turtles off the California Coast. Download the report.
The report, entitled ‘A Ban on Plastic Bags Will Save the Lives of Endangered Leatherback Sea Turtles’ was released by Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP) to support actions by cities and counties across California to ban free single-use plastic bags at the checkout at most grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores.
“California can lead the nation in stopping the free distribution of plastic bags at retail stores,” said Dr. Chris Pincetich, STRP’s marine biologist and toxicologist. “Passing a local ordinance in any city or county would be a great first step toward reducing ocean plastic pollution that kills endangered sea turtles.”
The report (cover photos (C) Doug Perine/Seapics.com) outlines the severe threat of plastic bags to endangered sea turtles, especially the critically endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles that use the California coast for feeding and migration. Leatherbacks mistake floating plastic bags for its favorite food, jellyfish. The report cites many scientific studies, including one that concludes that a third of adult leatherbacks have ingested plastic, many with fatal consequences.
According to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, Californians use more than 19 billion plastic bags every year, and San Francisco Bay Area residents alone use 3.8 billion plastic bags per year and discard over one hundred plastic bags per second. Many of these bags end up in the ocean where leatherbacks accidentally eat them.
Plastic bags are a primary component of urban litter pollution and marine litter pollution. Single-use plastic bags are a problem product because they are light, aerodynamic and are littered at a high rate. Once littered, plastic bags travel through the environment, ultimately ending up in the ocean and joining giant "garbage patches" circulating in ocean vortices.
The Sea Turtle Restoration Project is encouraging the public to organize and support local plastic bag bans in their home area to save the lives of sea turtles and reduce bag pollution in the marine environment.
A massive Sea Turtle and Bag Monster rally to support the cause is taking place Monday November 29, 2010 on the west Capitol steps in Sacramento, California, learn more and join us!
All seven species of the world’s sea turtles are threatened by ingestion
of plastic bags and plastic marine debris. Many countries including
China, Australia, and India have already addressed the environmental
damage caused by plastic bag pollution through their own bag bans or
The Sea Turtle Restoration Project is a program of Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN), an environmental organization working to protect and restore endangered marine species and the marine environment on which we all depend. Headquartered in California, with offices in Texas and Costa Rica, TIRN is dedicated to swift and decisive action to protect and restore marine species and their habitats and to inspire people in communities all over the world to join us as active and vocal marine species advocates. For more information, visit www.SeaTurtles.org and www.TIRN.net