Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Bring the Bag campaign, a joint initiative with Surfrider-Galveston, received the support of the City of Galveston this week. The Mayor James D. Yarbrough and the City Council proclaimed April 22nd ‘Bring the Bag’ day in Galveston, Texas. The Mayor went a step further, and challenged residents to take a 30 day challenge with him and pledge to bring reusable bags, rather than rely on single-use plastic bags that can enter our oceans and harm marine wildlife.
This challenge will begin on Earth Day, April 22, 2016 and last for one month. We hope the one month challenge will encourage a lifestyle change in our residents and visitors, and they will continue to use reusable bags at the completion of the challenge.
Endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles and other marine wildlife can easily mistake plastic bags for food because floating in the ocean they look similar to a jellyfish. Between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year, and these bags are used for an average of 12 minutes. Turtle Island, Surfrider and the City of Galveston are calling on residents to bring their own bags, and in so doing stop plastic bags from entering the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston Bay, and West Bay.
The City of Galveston further declared their support for the campaign by offering to work with the local tourism industry to encourage businesses, restaurants and hotels to join in the effort. They will also be encouraging contracted vendors to reduce and eliminate single-use plastic bags, and helping us educate visitors about the importance of bringing the bag in Galveston’s fragile coastal ecosystem. Turtle Island looks forward to working with everyone in Galveston to Bring the Bag to keep our coasts and oceans plastic-bag free.