Our Bag Heroes for the month of May are Bruce and Saskia Short. Most people on Padre Island probably know them as Bugs and Sas. When they’re not working, chances are you’ll find them at the beach. Bugs is an avid fisherman, but when he’s not out on the jetties, he and Sas can often be found surfing, riding bikes or just enjoying the beach with friends.
Recently, they’ve been encouraged by talk of a possible bag ban on Padre Island, “Every time we take a reusable bag to the store, one less plastic bag makes it to the landfill, or worse, into the water around us. We’re hoping Padre Island will ban plastic shopping bags since too many of them end up harming our marine life.”
Way to go Texas State Aquarium!!
Our April Bag Heroes are the management and employees at the newly opened Natural Grocers store on S. Staples at Doddridge. One thing that makes this store unique is its bag free checkouts.
Since Earth Day 2009, Natural Grocers has encouraged its customers to bring their own reusable bags, purchase reusable bags at the store, or carry their groceries out in cardboard shipping boxes that are available in the checkout area.
This policy has prevented 36 million single-use plastic checkout bags from going to landfills (AND oceans) each year. How cool is that??
These photos were taken BEFORE and 8 months AFTER a plastic checkout bag ban was passed on Maui.
Our Bag Heroes for the month of March are the members of Girl Scout Troop 96001.
One Girl Scout said she likes reusable shopping bags because, “Bringing reusable bags to the store saves the lives of innocent animals, especially sea turtles.” Another added, “They also make life easier because you can pack a lot of stuff into one or two bags.” Sharp cookies!
Are bioplastics part of the solution to plastic pollution?
Texans for Clean Water praises Texas Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs for taking on critical issue of windborne and waterborne litter
AUSTIN, TX (PRWEB) DECEMBER 18, 2015
Members of Texans for Clean Water praised members of the Texas Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs for focusing on the issue of wind and water borne litter during the committee’s first interim committee meeting of the 84th Texas Legislature, The committee met on December 8th and discussed a host of issues that its members will address before the start of the 85th Texas Legislature in January, 2017. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick included the important issue of windborne and waterborne litter in the list of interim committee charges the committee members will be tasked with studying during the interim. They will then make recommendations for their legislative to consider in the upcoming session. Witnesses from the City of Fort Worth, City of Fort Stockton and San Marcos River Foundation came before the committee to provide written and oral background information on the litter issue.
“Texans for Clean Water want to thank Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick for charging the committee with studying this issue since it has become a widespread problem affecting all Texans, especially those in rural Texas and those engaged in the agricultural industry. “Litter is a blight that lowers land values; deters economic development, outdoor recreation, and tourism; and diminishes overall quality of life,” said Mike Booth, a leader of the group.
Witnesses at the hearing told committee members about the fact that plastic bags and containers have caused tremendous problems to critical wastewater infrastructure systems in rural communities. They said that rural communities are especially impacted with open landscapes and limited budgets. The City of Fort Stockton became one of the first cities in Texas to ban plastic bags along with other litter control ordinances because of the negative impacts to their residents and economy. “If you leave (litter) alone and don’t take care of it, the rats will take over Texas,” testified Warren Oakley, a City of Fort Stockton Building Official.
“This is a statewide problem with far-reaching economic impact that needs to be addressed. The agriculture industry, hunting enthusiasts, industrial plants and our taxpayer-funded city utilities all must increase costs to deal with this problem of litter in our fields and streams. This is a problem that affects all Texans and quietly increases costs to Texas taxpayers and consumers through taxpayer-funded cleanup and maintenance efforts,” said Booth, who is a well-respected Austin-based water attorney and environmental expert.
Sid Miller, Texas Agriculture Commissioner commenting on the committee’s charge said, “I am pleased and gratified that Lieutenant Governor Patrick has included litter to those issues the Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs will be studying this interim. I look forward to working closely with Chairman Charles Perry and the committee members to find ways to preserve our important Texas natural resources, to help Texas agricultural producers and ensure a way we can hand our children and grandchildren the same beautiful Texas that was handed to us.”
Texans for Clean Water was formally organized in 2013 when Mike Garver of Houston and Trammell Crow of Dallas joined forces to bring the problem of floatable debris in our waterways to state and local officials. The goal of Texans for Clean Water is to organize a statewide group of business leaders through a common initiative. Revitalizing our waterways improves neighborhoods, brings recreational opportunities to our communities, and encourages economic growth. Education and collaboration between the business community and the government are key to developing and adopting best practices to prevent storm water debris and litter from entering our waterways. For more information, please visit their website at: http://www.texansforcleanwater.com/
On January 1st, Port Aransas’ ban on single-use plastic checkout bags went into full effect. It’s only fitting, then, that our Bag Hero this month is someone like Port A resident Julie Findley. As the chairperson of Keep Port Aransas Beautiful and a Skip the Plastic volunteer, Julie championed the move to ban plastic checkout bags.
She hopes everyone will start to bring their own reusable bags when going shopping and is “…optimistic that the transition from plastic to reusable bags will be smooth.”
Paraphrasing a Chinese proverb, she says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Preventing plastic bags from entering coastal and marine environments is just one step toward cleaning up our ocean.“
Kudos to Julie and the City of Port Aransas! For more information, go to: www.cityofportaransas.org/BAG_BAN.cfm
Our Bag Heroes for December are the members of the American Cetacean Society – TAMUCC Student Coalition. As future marine scientists, they know all about the threats that littered plastic bags and other marine debris pose to dolphins and whales.
Want to save a dolphin or whale? Bring your own bag!