A toxic soup of waste, stirring in the North Pacific Ocean.
“The problem with plastic bags is they photo-degrade which means they break down into smaller and smaller pieces. We don’t know how long they will take to completely go away," says Nina Gillespie with Environment Oregon.
Through strangulation, suffocation, starvation, and poisoning, plastic litter kills millions of marine animals and seabirds every year.
Gillespie says “animals ingest these. Turtles mistake them for jellyfish in the sea, numerous animals have been found with plastic in their stomach. Obviously is not a good thing.”
Environment Oregon brings their fight against plastic to Jackson County in hopes of persuading the Ashland city council to ban plastic shopping bags.
“Ashland already has a lot of support for the issue we’ve heard from our members and talking to citizens that it’s an issue they support” says Gillespie.
Four grocery stores in Ashland, Albertsons, the Ashland Food Co-op, Shop’n Kart and Market of Choice have already banned plastic bags.
Gillespies says "there’s growing momentum here with some places already stopping to use plastic and we just think to really completely stop plastic bags going into the waystream, Ashland is a great place to campaign.”
“I am the bag monster and i represent one years worth of the average Americans use of plastic bags” says the Plastic Bag Monster.
1 year, 1 shopper, 500 bags, most of those ending up in the ocean.
The Bag Monster says “you can see how blowy I am, I won’t stay in one place, I go into streams and eventually I get to the ocean and join 100 million tons of my friends off the coast of Oregon.”
Something that Environment Oregon says a plastic bag ban could easily fix.
“There’s a lot of options, reusable is the way to go, but banning plastic bags we would stop these bags going to the waystream. People could use paper or obviously bring their own” says Gillespie.
Oregon Environment will be presenting to the city council tomorrow night.
Mayor John Stromberg says he will refer the initiative to the city’s conservation commission for study and recommendations before the council votes on it.