Here, There and Everywhere

Death By Plastic

Dear Gabriel,

CAE_Pacific_YEG_Donate-Button_v1Are you are as proud as I am about our work to reduce “death by plastic” among Pacific wildlife?

Think about it: Because of your action and our advocacy, there are fewer sea birds entangled by plastic trash, and fewer sea turtles starving because they were unlucky enough to mistake a throwaway plastic bag for a jellyfish.

As 2012 comes to a close, we’ve helped win plastic bag bans that will soon cover more than 50 communities in California. This means billions fewer plastic bags are being tossed away each year. Amazing, don’t you agree? And we couldn’t have done it without you.

But we are far from done.

That’s why we’ve set a goal of raising $150,000 by Dec. 31 to help launch the next chapter of banning plastic bags in California.

Will you make a special year-end donation to Environment California and help us free more Pacific wildlife from plastic pollution?

Together, we began this campaign just a few years ago for one simple reason: Because we believe that nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute the Pacific and threaten wildlife for hundreds of years.

In 2012, you helped us achieve a remarkable string of victories, including:

When 2012 started, California was home to only 14 local bans on plastic bags. As 2012 comes to a close, now more than 50 local communities have stood up to ban plastic bags and keep plastic out of the Pacific Ocean.

In May, when the largest city in the state, Los Angeles, was considering a bag ban, the chemical lobby was in City Hall every day. Meanwhile, we hit the pavement and generated over 1,000 phone calls from the City Councilors’ constituents. The Council voted almost unanimously to protect the ocean. Our biggest win yet.

Best of all, these victories are keeping billions of plastic bags out of the Pacific, freeing sea turtles, sea birds and other marine wildlife from harm and “death by plastic.”

As we enter a new year, I want to shift this campaign into overdrive — to educate more people and recruit more Californians to end our wasteful throwaway habits … to convince more counties, cities and towns to stand up to Big Plastic … and to keep the pressure on our state legislators to make California one of the first states in the U.S. to ban the bag statewide.

The alternative? Researchers from the University of California at San Diego recently found a 100-fold increase in plastic particles in the ocean over the past 40 years.

We’re polluting our ocean at an increasingly rapid pace, with damaging effects on species already under stress from overfishing, habitat destruction and climate change.

And every time a sea turtle mistakes a plastic bag for a jellyfish, the plastic settles in its stomach, never to digest. The turtle thinks it’s full. Soon, it starves and dies.

But let’s face it. Big Plastic isn’t in business to care about the Pacific or its wildlife. As long as there’s money to be made in throwaway plastic bags, they’ll keep spending millions on lobbyists, campaign contributions, lawsuits and other intimidation tactics and propaganda to stop us.

Caring about the Pacific and its wildlife is our job and we can’t stop now.

We’ve set a goal of raising $150,000 by Dec. 31 so we can power up the biggest, boldest, most effective campaign yet to free Pacific wildlife from plastic pollution.

Gabriel, you know as well as I do what we’re up against. But you also know that when we work together, we can do great things. That’s how we helped save 70 state parks from closure this past year. That’s how we helped increase solar power 600% over the last 6 years. And that’s how we helped pass plastic bag bans that will soon cover more than 50 communities in California, including the second largest city in this country, Los Angeles.

Now it’s time to join forces again to help end death by plastic in the Pacific.

As you think about all we’ve accomplished, as you weigh the challenges that lie ahead, and as you consider your year-end giving choices, I hope you’ll agree: Our throwaway habits have threatened Pacific wildlife long enough. Stand with me today and we’ll have even more to be proud of next year.

Are you with me?

Dan Jacobson
Legislative Director
Environment California

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