Thursday, December 15, 2011

Seattle Proposes Plastic Bag Ban

Seattle has joined the list of places that are pursuing a ban on single-use plastic bags. The city received a wake-up call late last month when more than 20 plastic bags were found inside the stomach of a juvenile gray whale stranded at Puget Sound.

People for Puget Sound posted a guest blog entry by David Todd that explains the situation: "Gray Whale's Death a Wakeup Call About Plastics."

On its website, the organization cites the following reasons for banning plastic bags:

"We need to take action because:
* Plastics harm our wildlife. Birds, fish, and whales can choke on them, they are poisonous, and they can become entangled.
* We need to reduce plastic pollution into our lakes, streams, Puget Sound and the ocean.
* Plastic bags are light-weight and easily blow into our waters. They break down into tiny bits but don’t biodegrade for hundreds of years.
* The tiny pieces of plastic, including plastic bag pieces, are called microplastics, and are floating in Puget Sound. Every water sample taken in Puget Sound so far by researchers at UW Tacoma have plastic bits.
* Tiny plastics are a pathway for toxic chemicals. Plastics attract toxic chemicals like a sponge. Fish then eat these plastic bits - and we eat the fish.
* Plastics are accumulating in our world’s oceans. The most researched area, so far, is the North Pacific Gyre where a floating thin soup of plastics is in an area that is estimated to be greater than the size of Texas."

For more info about Seattle's proposed ordinance, click here.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Help Support Oregon's Marine Reserves

Banning single-use plastic bags will start the vital process of protecting our ocean from plastic pollution. A related effort in support of our ocean's health is establishing Marine Reserves. Asking Governor Kitzaber to move this goal forward is what this group of letter writers from the Mary’s Peak Group of the Oregon Sierra Club is involved in. These letters can be sent to the office of Governor Kitzhaber before and after the legislative session that starts December 5th. Oregon is the only state on the Pacific Ocean that does not have a marine reserve or a National Marine Sanctuary. We have one of the most beautiful and productive oceans in the world; let's keep it that way. Join us in protecting a small piece of it for the future. Click here, and send that letter today.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

City Council Supports Bag Ban 8 - 0

The Bag Monster gears up to meet the City Council
Below is a snippet from today's Gazette-Times story, "Council sends bag ban to committee":

"After hearing nearly an hour of public testimony, the Corvallis City Council on Monday elected to send a proposed ban on single-use plastic bags to its Administrative Services Committee—although some proponents of the ban and at least one councilor said it was a shame the council couldn’t enact the measure on the spot.

The ordinance, which is the brainchild of the Sierra Club’s Marys Peak Group, brought a few dozen people to the noon meeting, and about 10 spoke in front of the council. Testimony was heavily in support of the ordinance with a few opposed.

The council unanimously decided to move the proposed ban to the Administrative Services Committee."

Sounds like our ordinance is moving forward!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Front Page News!

As you may have noticed today in a front page story in the Gazette-Times, Bag It Corvallis is going before the City Council this Monday to present our ordinance to ban single-use plastic carryout bags. To view the full article, click here.
Today we reached a total of 1,168 signatures in support of the ordinance, exceeding our goal of reaching 1,000 before we present the ordinance to the City Council. The Corvallis City Council meets on Monday, Nov. 7 at noon at the downtown fire station, 400 NW Harrison Boulevard. Come join us and show your support!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bag It Corvallis Makes the News

Candice Ruud at the Gazette-Times interviewed Debra Higbee-Sudyka last week about our effort to ban single-use plastic bags here in Corvallis. The article was published in today's paper and it looks great! Here's a link: Plastic bag ban gets push.

The article outlines some of the details that would make our ordinance more effective than the Portland ban. For instance, the 5-cent fee on paper bags will encourage the use of reusable bags (in Portland, most stores simply saw a huge switch to paper). The article also mentions how different local businesses might react to the ban. Some stores, such as Sibling Revelry, already don't use plastic bags. Others like The Clothes Tree hand out thicker plastic bags which can be used again and again. These thicker plastic bags wouldn't be banned by our ordinance, which targets only thin, single-use plastic bags.

For more info, check out the story, or stop by our screening of Bag It tonight at 6 p.m. at the Corvallis Public Library on Monroe Avenue. Our last screening of the documentary is set for Monday at 6 p.m. at OSU's Kearney Hall, 1491 SW Campus Way.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bag It Petition Goes Online

So far, we've gathered 599 signatures to support our proposed ordinance banning single-use plastic carryout bags in Corvallis. Now you can sign our petition online, too:

Upcoming 'Bag It' Film Screenings

Thanks, everyone who attended our screening of Bag It last night at the Unitarian Church! We've added another showing of the film on Monday, Oct. 24. Also, come and join the Bag Monster on Monday, Oct. 24 and Wednesday, Oct. 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the OSU Campus Memorial Union Quad. Here's the updated schedule:

Second free showing of the movie Bag It:

When: Friday, Oct. 21

Where: Corvallis Library, 645 NW Monroe Ave., Corvallis

Time: 7 to 9 p.m.

Third free showing of the movie Bag It:

When: Monday, Oct. 24

Where: OSU Kearney Building, Room 112 (14th and Monroe), Corvallis

Time: 6 to 8 p.m.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October 'Bag It' Film Showings

Below is the description of the film Bag It, which we're showing at two locations in Corvallis:

Americans use 60,000 plastic bags every five minutessingle-use disposable bags that we mindlessly throw away. But where is “away?” Where do the bags and other plastics end up, and at what cost to our environment, marine life and human health? Bag It follows “everyman” Jeb Berrier as he navigates our plastic world.

Jeb is not a radical environmentalist, but an average American who decides to take a closer look at our cultural love affair with plastics. Jeb’s journey in this documentary film starts with simple questions: Are plastic bags really necessary? What are plastic bags made from? What happens to plastic bags after they are discarded?

When Jeb’s journey takes a personal twist, we see how our crazy-for-plastic world has finally caught up with us and what we can do about it. Today. Right now.

First free showing of the movie Bag It:

When: Sunday, Oct. 16

Where: UU Fellowship, 2945 NW Circle Blvd., Corvallis

Time: 7 to 9 p.m.

Second free showing of the movie Bag It:

When: Friday, Oct. 21

Where: Corvallis Library, 645 NW Monroe Ave., Corvallis

Time: 7 to 9 p.m.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bag Monster Comes to Corvallis!

Did you see the Bag Monster at today's Saturday Farmers' Market?

Thank you, everyone who signed our petition today -- including

Friday, September 30, 2011


Welcome to Bag It Corvallis, a local effort to ban single-use plastic bags in Corvallis, Oregon, while focusing on a shift to reusable bags.

Plastic bags are a significant source of waste as they never biodegrade. Used once and then thrown away, these bags persist forever in the environment. In our oceans, they resemble jellyfish and are eaten by sea turtles, killing them. According to an article published by Rolling Stone, they litter beaches, clog sewers, kill wildlife, and are a "nightmare to recycle" as they jam the equipment, which adds more than 25% to labor costs at Oregon's biggest recycling plant.

Our goal is to pass a town ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags and institute a 5-cent fee on paper bags in Corvallis. We believe the 5-cent fee on paper bags is necessary to prevent a switch from one type of disposable bag to another and encourage the use of sustainable, reusable bags.

Over the coming weeks, check in regularly for updates on our efforts to promote the use of sustainable bags in Corvallis. Help us keep Corvallis green!