Save The Plastic Bag Coalition – here we go again

January 28, 2010

We here at Planet Protect Sportswear try to keep up on the plastic bag bans around the world, and today, unfortunately the lawyers for the Save The Plastic Bag Coalition, won a victory. Manhattan Beach, Ca was the second LA county to ban plastic bags back in July 2008 – today: “The City of Manhattan Beach must fully analyze the environmental impact of increased paper bag use before it can ban retailers from providing plastic bags to customers, a divided panel of this district’s Court of Appeal ruled yesterday. In a victory for the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, a group of manufacturers, distributors and suppliers, Div. Five held that the California Environmental Quality Act required an environmental impact report given evidence increased paper bag use might significantly affect the environment”

Believe it or not, we all had to use paper bags before the proliferation of non-recyclable plastic bags become the mainstay.  When I was a kid, everywhere we went that is how we carried groceries.  Today, of course, we use sustainable and re-useable bags in our home.  I absolutely love them.  They are made from down cycled plastic waste or we use canvas bags.  We rarely end up with a plastic bag in our home.

The Save the Plastic Bag Coalition is pushing for environmental impact of paper.  Let me repeat that – the environmental impact of paper on our oceans, water ways, air quality and living standards.  It’s a desperate ploy, and the justices bought into it – sadly. As a diver, snorkeling enthusiast, budding surfer and ocean conservationist, I don’t find paper in our oceans, I find plastic debris – unending plastic crap in the reefs, beaches, and floating along.  Our oceans are at the breaking point with plastic debris.  There is millions of tons of plastic that is choking the life out of 100,000 marine animals each year, millions of birds, and endangered animals.

 The court got it wrong, seriously wrong, and special interests from the heavily funded plastic companies won – this time. 

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ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Waste Edition

January 18, 2010

Talk about being the last one to discuss a subject – Extreme Makeover home edition has been on the air for years, and honestly, I never watch the show.  Well there was nothing on TV last night, and the kids wanted to watch – so I did – up until the part where the demo crew comes in.  What a colossal waste of materials, resources and ultimately a landfill nightmare.

OK, let me back up a minute, and explain why this show caught my ire. Two years ago, I was part of a remarkable project entitled the Reuse Everything Experiment (REX).  My job was to market the project, and do my PR thing to get reporters and writers interested.  Here’s the premise – take an old dilapidated home, de-construct the home – saving every single piece, and reuse everything back into a new home construction project – all on the same lot. 

Sounds challenging – and it was.  It was the first ever project that truly reused every part (including the rusty old nails), back into a new home – and 99% of everything was reused.  Obviously, the reason I was involved was the eco-nature of the project, and it was something I believe in. 

Here’s what I learned – you can do it, and save money.  60% of all landfill waste is construction related – and 40% of that waste is still useable.

Now let’s jump back to last night’s show.  Nothing was reused, not even the functional appliances, not one 2X4, not one brick, nothing.  A colossal waste.  Sure, I’m not heartless to the fact that the family got a new home and they are happy.  I’m just not happy with overflowing landfills for the sake of ratings.  This is classic of our broken thinking – out of site, out of our minds…

Trashing The Other Hawaiian Islands

January 8, 2010

To be honest, there weren’t many things the Bush administration did that I agreed with, that being said, one very important act Bush enacted was creating the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.  This 140,000 square mile preserve is considered the coral reef rainforest of the Pacific – home to thousands of marine species and endangered animals.  Why Bush created this monument may be more an influence of Laura Bush and her love of the ocean and Hawaiian islands – whatever the case, a good move.

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The other important move – in making this area of the Pacific a National Monument is the ability to remove 40 to 60 tons of garbage, trash, and marine debris that litters these amazing islands each year.  More than 700 tons have been removed since starting the debris removal initiatives.  It’s a staggering amount of trash, and one of the reasons that Planet Protect Sportswear works to educate and tell consumers about the dangers of plastic pollution in our oceans.

Check out the different islands here.

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