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Los Angeles Enacts Plastic Bag Ban, Strengthens Statewide Movement
[Editor's note: UPDATE—On June 26, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed LA's historic ban on single-use plastic bags into law.]
The Los Angeles City Council voted 11-1 yesterday to finalize a citywide ban on single-use plastic bags. L.A. had begun drafting an ordinance last year, and has since completed an exhaustive study demonstrating the benefits of a citywide ban. Once the L.A. ordinance is signed into law by Mayor Villaraigosa, nearly one in three Californians will live somewhere with a plastic bag ban. Sen. Padilla (D-CA) championed a similar measure in the California Senate.
“This important step forward for Los Angeles shows once again that we can achieve lasting victories for ocean and environmental health," said Nathan Weaver with Environment California.
“Banning plastic bags is the right choice to protect our rivers, beaches and the Pacific Ocean. With one in three Californians living somewhere with a plastic bag ban, it's only a matter of time until California bans plastic bags statewide. I applaud the Los Angeles City Council and Sen. Padilla for their leadership on this issue."
Single-use plastic bags are one of the most common garbage items on California's beaches according to the Los Angeles Times. They are a direct threat to ocean wildlife, like the sea turtles that mistake them for edible jellyfish. One in three leatherback sea turtles have plastic in their stomach, most often a plastic bag, based on a study of over 370 autopsies. Plastic bags make up as much as 25 percent, by weight, of all garbage flowing out to sea on the Los Angeles River according to a 2008 L.A. County report.
“Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute the ocean for hundreds of years," commented Weaver.
Plastic bag bans have enjoyed tremendous success across California. More than 75 California local governments have already banned single-use plastic bags, including Pasadena, Glendale, Culver City, Long Beach, Calabasas and unincorporated Los Angeles County. Seven million Californians, joined by 3.8 million people in L.A., now live in a community that has approved a plastic bag ban.
Councilmembers Reyes, Krekorian, Zine, LaBonge, Koretz, Alarcón, Wesson, Rosendahl, Englander Huizar and Buscaino voted for the ban.
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As much as hurricanes Katrina and Maria upended African American and Latinx families, the landfall of the coronavirus brings a gale of another order. This Category 5 of infectious disease packs the power to level communities already battered from environmental, economic, and health injustice. If response and relief efforts fail to adequately factor in existing disparities, the current pandemic threatens a knockout punch to the American Dream.
'We Need People's Bailout, Not Polluters' Bailout': Climate Groups Move to Preempt Big Oil Giveaway Amid Pandemic
By Andrea Germanos
A coalition of climate organizations strongly criticized President Donald Trump's in-person Friday meeting with the chief executives of some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world, saying the industry that fueled climate disaster must not be allowed to profiteer from government giveaways by getting bailout funds or preferred treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.
An Important Note
No supplement, diet, or lifestyle modification — aside from social distancing and practicing proper hygiene — can protect you from developing COVID-19.
The strategies outlined below may boost your immune health, but they don't protect specifically against COVID-19.
By Zak Smith
It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:
By Hector Chapa
With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.
But can these masks be effective?