With Coastal Cleanup Day right around the corner, I have been reflecting on what the purpose of the event is. In addition to educating the public about being more conscious of our personal consumption choices and reducing our global footprint, Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) can motivate us to collectively demand action.
Decades of data from CCD show that plastic bottle caps are the 4th most prevalent item found at cleanups. In the last 26 years, 1,044,414 plastic bottle caps have been collected and recorded. Those that don’t get picked up by volunteers join the plastic soup in the ocean where they are then ingested by many animals, notably the impressive seabird, the Albatross.
It’s time to leash the lid! In the 1970s the pull-tab or “pop top” on aluminum cans was replaced by the much safer and environmentally friendlier “sta-tab”, and is still in use today. We did it then, we can do it again.
Fortunately, Assembly Bill 925: Leash Your Lid: Plastic Beverage Container Caps is currently headed for the senate floor for debate. This bill would require that all plastic bottle caps on single-use containers be attached to the bottle. The Clean Seas Coalition has a summary of the bill and links to a sample letter of support to send to your senator along with contact information for critical senate votes.
I am planning to contact my senator (click here to look up your senator by your address) and urge her to support the bill, and thank her if she already is. I am also planning to write to Crystal Geyser, one of the sponsors of California Coastal Cleanup Day, and ask them to consider voluntarily leashing the lids of their water bottles. Our ocean needs some heroes. The time is ripe to be one!
Remember, it is not too late to register for Coastal Cleanup Day, this Saturday, September 19th. Choose your site and enjoy the largest volunteer event on the planet!