On a recent outing to Santa Monica, I got pretty excited over a simple question. As I was browsing around the Barnes & Noble at the Third Street Promenade, I heard this question over and over again: “Would you like a bag because I have to charge you 10 cents for it?”
I spend so much time in Los Angeles that I almost forgot about Santa Monica’s plastic bag ban. Hearing that question was music to my ears!
Santa Monica’s plastic bag ban became effective September 1, 2011 and the law requires stores to charge 10 cents for each paper bag (made of 40 percent post-consumer recycled content) if customers don’t bring reusable bags. Way to go Santa Monica!
It’s easy to lose “Earth hope,” as I like to call it, when you’re driving around Los Angeles and all you see is trash everywhere. The 405 north off-ramp for Culver Blvd. is especially tragic. Do people just throw trash out their car windows? I just don’t get it.
So after shopping in Santa Monica, I felt a glimmer of Earth hope again. At least people are taking action, even if it’s just one bag at a time, that’s still a big deal. According to the City of Santa Monica, that’s 26 million plastic bags a year no longer in circulation.
Earth Day is this Sunday and there’s tons of great events going on across the globe to celebrate. If you’re not feeling up for a big event, then maybe just do something as simple as shop in a city like Santa Monica. Support cities taking on the ocean’s plastic plague and don’t forget to bring your reusable bags!