Thursday, December 18, 2008

Reyes, Community Give Plastic Bags the Sack

Today, I joined with local groups for the second annual “A Day Without a Bag” at Big Saver supermarket in Cypress Park.

Miguel Luna, of Urban Semillas, Raul Macias, of Anahuak Youth Sports Association, and Eileen Alduenda, of Arroyo Seco Foundation joined me to help launch this countywide event in coordination with Heal the Bay.

Today, businesses and environmental groups handed out more than 25,000 environmentally friendly reusable bags at more than 75 locations throughout Los Angeles County. In my district, ten businesses in Cypress Park and Highland Park handed out hundreds of reusable green totes along Figueroa Street as part of the event.

Plastic bags are given out free everyday at our supermarkets and department stores. But in reality, they are not free. They take an enormous toll on the City and its waterways, especially the Los Angeles River.

There is also the economic impact of all this plastic.

Annually, California taxpayers pay $25 million to collect & landfill plastic bag waste. That’s $94 per person, at up to 17¢ per bag for disposal by our city. And this does not include the enormous toll on our City’s waterways, especially the Los Angeles River.

Single use plastic bags have been the graffiti of the LA River for decades. Plastic bags clog our waterways. Plastic bags choke our birds. Plastic bags pollute our neighborhoods.

“A Day Without a Bag” is a movement spearheaded by Heal the Bay in partnership with major and community retailers, local governments and community-based organizations like Anahuak Youth Sports Association, the Arroyo Seco Foundation and Urban Semillas.

As Councilmember of the First District and Chair of the Los Angeles River Ad Hoc Committee, I am very proud to be part of "A Day Without A Bag."