September 16, 2009

Do the math: 15,000 plastic bags in one day in 10 trash ‘hot spots’

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If you ever wondered how those plastic bags get into the ocean, where they are floating in a giant island twice the size of Texas and being slowly eaten by sea life (and later, by us) a new study released in California this week sheds some light.

The environmental group Save the Bay estimates that 1 million plastic bags end up in San Francisco Bay annually. But before that even, they end up in creeks and storm drains. In one day, the group collected 15,000 plastic trash bags from 10 trash “hot spots,” the San Jose Mercury News reports.

The study comes as San Jose is considering a city ordinance to end the distribution of free single-use bags, both plastic and paper, and require residents to switch to reusable bags. A similar measure failed in Seattle earlier this year, after the chemical industry spent  big money lobbying against it.

— Rita Hibbard

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