Oregon’s Plastic Bag Ban Update: Fear Wins

March 7, 2010

We at Planet Protect Sportswear were thrilled to hear that a bill was circulating in our capital of Salem that would have finally banned the menace of plastic grocery bags.  That battle ended a few weeks ago with a whimper from the State Senator that enacted the bill.  Not citing his reasons, he mentioned that it started some good discussion.  Which is “politic speak” for I didn’t want to make anyone mad, rock anyone’s boat, or have to take on Big Plastic and their legions of highly paid lawyers.

The most interesting part about this chickening out of taking an extreme problem – one which 11 cities in our country have stood up and said enough – is that people (read conservatives) seem to have this mind-set that anything that we use for convenience is somehow now a right.  Meaning we have legal rights to use environmentally damaging products, simply because we can.  Or we have for a certain period of time, so it must continue without end or modification.  These change-less agents are quick to label anyone wanting a better life, healthier life, or less eco-damaging life as liberal nut jobs.   They feel that industries such as Coal, Oil, and Plastic somehow would never steer us wrong, never tell us an untruth.  Big Plastic is smart, well-funded and is launching mis-leading web sites constantly promoting plastic and demonizing paper products (especially those made from recycled paper).    Change starts at home, buy reuseable bags, use less plastic, buy glass, aluminum and paper, and keep recycling.  Plastic can’t be recycled (it can be downcycled into items like park benches and yes, reuseable totes).  Keep fighting for bans in your city, our oceans, waterways and marine animals need your help.


Planet Protect Sportswear supports the Plastic Bag Ban in Oregon

February 6, 2010

Oregonians are typically supportive of environmental measures and laws.  It will be very interesting to see how a bill currently being circulated in our capital of Salem will be received.  The infamous “save the plastic bag coalition” is already circulating its talking points and mis-information.  Our major daily paper – the Oregonian – was quick to use the plastic industry PR bullet points (as fact), and report on the story.  These days, fact checking is rare, propaganda rules, and blogs are the news source… (please don’t use this as a news source, this is my opinion). 

Another disturbing fact, is that governmental agencies now routinely use industry stats as their own.  The EPA, is littered with Plastic Industry stats – provided by the Plastic Industry and once again presented as fact.  Sorry, I want third party measures for this kind of discussion.  The Plastic Industry’s new ploy is to make paper a dangerous and potentially devastating green house gas provided (when it decomposes) and a huge energy drain on our already over taxed power generation plants.

I agree, having millions of people shift to paper bags at grocery stores makes about as much sense as wiping your rear end with paper or using it to print out our email, spreadsheets, letters and faxes, or using paper for presents, milk cartons, boxes, greeting cards, posters, flyers, brochures, steamers, labels, confetti or really any other use…

Yes, paper is truly a menace as it is recycled over and over again and eventually ends up as insulation, mulch and degrades back into the soil.  Oh, for those of you who don’t know this.  Plastic has never been recycled in the history since its creation.  It can’t be recycled, its down-cycled into something else.  Let me repeat this – no milk jug has ever been made into another milk jug…  The plastic industry refuses to use used plastic in its manufacturing process.  So if no one wants it… guess what… its put into the landfill.  Go and research this for yourself..

This “save the plastic bag coalition” is all about keeping you hooked and misled.  Its time to end plastic bags. Go get bunch of  canvas bags, and use them, its really easy.


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. 

Visit our web site at www.PlanetProtect.com.


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.

Please visit this link to learn more: http://papahanaumokuakea.gov/

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.

To learn more about Planet Protect Sportswear. visit our store at www.planetprotect.com


Plastic, its what’s for dinner…

December 15, 2009

Is there nothing NOT wrapped in plastic at the grocery store?  OK, yes, about four items.  But really, can we not come up with another solution besides plastic on every food item in the store?

So we know that most all foods have to pass some kind of inspection for safety, digestibility, nutrition and health.  So since almost all food products are either stored, made, shipped, manufactured or wrapped in some kind of plastic material… who is checking the plastic contents for safety, outgassing, and passing on of toxicity at the store and at home?  I far as I can tell – no one.

Remember back two years ago when the BPA toxicity claims were all in the news?  I happened to be a the Environmental Protection Agency the day the story broke and went international.  I asked the EPA representative about other compounds used in everyday plastic – are they safe?  Her response… “I suppose so, otherwise we’d heard something by now.”  Fantastic science and research, I thought to my self, but this is the world we live in – chemical companies add what ever they want to our food, water, air – and if its dangerous – prove it is what caused your cancer or deformity… the onus is on us.

Here is a list of additives that common everyday plastic contains – if this sounds vaguely familiar to what cigarette activists tried to do 20 years ago, it is.

Antimicrobials, antioxidants, antistatic agents, blowing agents, curing agents, colorants, fillers (hardness), flame retardants, free radical initiators, heat stabilizers, impact modifiers, lubricants and mold release agents, plasticizers, reinforcers, ultra-violet stablizers and much more.

You can’t tell me that all of these “agents” which consist of toxic compounds never leach into our foods and water…  food for thought.

Visit our store for more about plastic pollution in our oceans, and our campaigns:  www.PlanetProtect.com


Keep Your Damn Golf Balls Out of the Ocean

October 26, 2009

Every time I head out into the reefs, there is always a bright white object that catches my eye.  Sometimes its a multitude of bright white objects… golf balls.  It always struck as strange that golf balls would be in areas of the reef, where is there no golf course.  I have tried to figure out current patterns, and yet, those currents do not lead to the offending golf course. 

So how are these balls getting out into the ocean, and deep inside the reef areas?

My own father gave me the answer.  “Its the fantasy of most golfers to hit balls into the ocean.”  He’s even done it himself he confessed to me. On most of my excursions, the golf balls are typically along a well traveled road, near a parking area, and easy access to the beach.  Which might explain the proliferation of balls in certain areas and not others.  And, I surmise, that these golfers, know that doing this is fundamentally wrong, because I’ve never seen anyone doing this during the day, so are these guys being night drivers?

sea-trash

trash from a dive including a golf ball

I really enjoy the game of golf, but, more and more, this is becoming a pollution problem.  I recently read a story that Lock Ness has ten’s of thousands of golf balls at the bottom of the lake.  Apparently, this is a golfer’s fantasy around the globe.  Well, knock it off!  These things don’t break down, decompose, and marine mammals think they are food.  And yes, there is a funny episode of Seinfeld, where Kramer hits a ball into the blowhole of a whale.   In this case, not funny, a pain in the butt for divers and marine conservationists like me…


Plastic Wrapped Bananas: Are You Kidding?

October 13, 2009

bananaThe plastic industry scored another victory against the environment, this time, they are sticking it to bananas.  Yes, 7-Eleven stores are starting to wrap bananas in plastic to keep them fresh longer.   The goal to extend shelf life from two days to four days – a whopping double the time frame!  The CEO for 7-Eleven proclaimed that his customers want yellow bananas not brown, hence the push for a new plastic wrap for the estimated (hold on to your hat) – 27 million individual bananas sold each year!   Once again the loser – the environment – and we all that must deal with this foolish disregard for our congested, overburdened landfills, the increasing plastic pollution in our waterways and oceans – filling up them up with this irresponsible marketing brainchild and promoting packaging waste such as this.  Of course, 7-Eleven recognizes this as a potential ecology nightmare, and hopes a biodegradable solution materializes…

check out the story here: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/eleven-tests-plastic-stay-fresh-wrap-bananas/story?id=8805383